Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson got himself a big contract last year. His 2014 wasn't his best year. He had up-and-down play and had health issues -- an ankle injury, a head injury and diabetes. The result is landing himself on a list that is both good and bad. He is on an ESPN list of the most overpaid veterans in the NFL.
Peterson is number six on the list and using some calculation, he is being paid $9.2 million more than his actual value (according to the Jahnke Value Model).
Peterson was rewarded with a contract extension after an excellent 2013 campaign. The problem is he followed that up with a forgettable 2014 season.
He allowed eight touchdowns, which tied for third most in the NFL behind David Amerson and Bradley Fletcher. In plenty of games he held his own, but he allowed nine catches for 174 receiving yards against the Falcons, and five catches for 122 yards against Washington.
Part of Peterson's outstanding play in 2013 had to do with the fact that he tracked the opposing team's No. 1 receiver across the formation (although rarely in the slot), but in 2014 he primarily stayed at left cornerback, regardless of which WR lined up across from him. He is still clearly the Cardinals' top outside cornerback, and he was playing hurt for much of the season, but Arizona needs to hope he returns to his 2013 form -- because the Cardinals are tied to him for a while.
His 2014 was not up to par, especially to his own standards.
If we were to look at Peterson's 2014 season, then he was clearly overpaid. However, you can almost always say that about a player with a new deal. NFL contracts are frequently for previous performance and future projections, especially since almost every deal that comes for a good player at the same position ends up being for more money.
The Cardinals are paying Peterson for potential, as Steve Keim believes Peterson has the potential to "redefine the position".
Cardinals fans are hoping they can just chuck 2014 out the window because of his health issues. There were games in which he was fantastic. Others not so much.
He has come into this offseason in much better shape. The coaches see it. The players see it. He was active to the ball guarding Larry Fitzgerald and is moving around very well. More importantly, his energy level is right now.
So while he is clearly overpaid for his 2014 play, do you think he will ultimate underplay his contract overall?