The Arizona Cardinals will be holding on to cornerback Patrick Peterson. According to Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic, the team will exercise its fifth-year option of his rookie contract coming out LSU.
Peterson, entering his fourth year, will make just under $2.9 million this year.
The fifth-year option will not come cheap. Per the collective bargaining agreement, the fifth year of a rookie contract, if picked up, pays the player a lot. If drafted in the top 10 spots of the draft, the player is paid the average of the 10 highest paid players at the position. If drafted after that, it is the average of the 25 highest paid players at the position.
Peterson, drafted fifth overall in 2011, would be paid about $10 million in 2015 under the option.
Arizona must officially exercise the option by May 3.
This decision does not change any plans they have about trying to negotiate a long-term extension with Peterson. All it does is give them time. Technically, the Cards could avoid talks at all for a while because, after 2015, they could place the franchise tag on him and control him for 2015 as well.
As the headline notes, this is a wise decision by the Cardinals. They ensure that Peterson is here another year, and, truth be told, even if they can't hammer out a deal before next season, the $10 million actually might be a bit of a deal. He will likely be seeking a deal worth at least that much yearly. The issue is that the salary cap hit is equal to the salary in that instance.
At the same time, it makes a lot of sense for Arizona to get a contract done with Peterson this offseason because salaries continue to escalate as the salary cap goes up, and with a very talented secondary this year, the Cards are in a position where Peterson's play could bump up that worth even more.
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