Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson is going to get paid a lot of money. According to an ESPN report, the team and Peterson are working on a long-term deal that will pay the cornerback more than $60 million.
If they are in fact working on a deal, it is news. Speaking with ESPN's Josh Weinfuss recently, it did not seem like anything was actually in the works, as he said he would prefer something happen "sooner rather than later."
In that interview he suggested that he should get more money than Sherman because, rather than just locking down one side of the field, Peterson lines up all over the field, no matter where he is assigned, which is almost always facing the opposing team's top receiver.
It makes sense that his deal would be more. That is what happens with contracts. Even if they are similar in skill (which they are), the contracts that come later tend to be bigger -- inflation.
Even if this report is not true and there is nothing imminent, he did rule out a holdout (via Arizona Sports). Since he has two years left on his contract (he will make $2.88 million this coming season and $10 million in 2015), "there's no sense in holding out."
However, it appears that with more money is actually going to come less responsibility. After receiver John Brown was drafted by Arizona, head coach Bruce Arians said that Peterson's "wide receiver days are probably over." In terms of his job as punt returner, Arians said, “We’d like to ease that up a little bit anyway." After the injury to Tyrann Mathieu, Arians seems to have rethought the process.
It helps, too, that Peterson has done very little in terms of production in the return game. With the signing of Ted Ginn and the drafting of John Brown, plus other players on the roster like Bryan McCann who have had experience in returning punts, it makes sense to have another player do it. Truth be told, they really couldn't do much worse than Peterson has over the last two seasons.
Peterson is okay with the decision, saying (via AZCardinals.com), “If it was my choice I’d never come off the field, but I think that’s cool."
That's the sign of a player who has pride, but also trusts his coaches. Some might think as well (especially if you watch game tape of his returns) that he might have his health in mind, too.
More money -- a lot more money -- and less responsibilities. But that's okay, because if that means he becomes a better cornerback, then he will be worth every penny.
The price for Peterson's contract might have just gone up, as Cleveland CB Joe Haden is getting nearly $70 million.
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