Arizona Cardinals’ Patrick Peterson’s off-season has been nothing short of dramatic.
Crazy, dramatic, climatic, these are appropriate words to define Patrick Peterson‘s 2019 off-season. A star cornerback for the Arizona Cardinals, Peterson has been a hot topic around the NFL landscape due to conflicting rumors, a suspension, and some social media antics.
The story of Peterson’s off-season is long and complicated, so let’s look into every bit, from the start.
Peterson apologizes to Cardinals fans for requesting a trade.
Shortly after the 2018 season ended, Peterson spoke about his trade request made shortly before the trade deadline at the Phoenix Open. Although he didn’t get into details, Peterson said he’s going to stay in Arizona and continue to give fans the high-level play they expect the cornerback.
ESPN’s Josh Weinfuss got to talk to him at the golf tournament as Peterson said he’s
"Here to stay."
The removal of all Cardinals references from social media.
From January to late April, Peterson remained quiet and didn’t spark any rumors. But, that changed when he removed all references to the team on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook shortly before posting some cryptic Instagram posts.
The slew of Instagram posts.
From late January to late April, we avoided the Peterson drama as a whole. He appeared to be a Cardinals lifer, until, this cryptic Instagram post that says “I see where we stand!” Though there was no context given or comments made by the cornerback, many can assume this was directed towards the team.
But he didn’t stop there. After the post, Peterson logged back in to post a blank video of Drake’s “Duppy Freestyle,” the excerpt of the song including these lyrics;
"I’m in shock. The nerve. The audacity."
The post included a one-word caption that just said “Wow!”
But, the Instagram posts don’t end there, and they get a little bit less confusing. Peterson posted a picture of him with now-former teammates that include Tyrann Mathieu and Justin Bethel. The caption said
"My boys told me to watch out for the snakes in the long grass! #savageSZN."
Maybe more telling than the post was comments made by former Cardinals including Darnell Dockett, Chris Johnson, and Tony Jefferson. The general mindset behind these comments was that the Cardinals prematurely let people go, they are fake, and there is a general lack of love between the players and front office.
Dockett said this in his comment;
"No surprise to me… I seen it all… all that [expletive] be fake."
Johnson then said
"AZ always gonna be the same until they make changes upstairs."
Rumors begin swirling about a trade.
Antonio Byrant, a former NFL receiver with a not-so-great track record pertaining to Cardinals rumors tweeted that the cornerback will be traded to the Kansas City Chiefs. Naturally, this tweet, that was later deleted, sent the NFL landscape ablaze.
Pro Football Talk then backed the tweet by saying that something was indeed going on with Peterson and the organization.
But, the drama doesn’t end there. PFT then backed up their comments and said their source was false.
This is all the information currently out about a potential trade.
Peterson doesn’t show up for voluntary mini-camps.
Just hours after Twitter freaked out about a potential P2 trade, reports came out that he wouldn’t be showing up to the voluntary mini-camps on April 23rd, per NFL Media’s Steve Wyche. But this isn’t anything new. Many accomplished veterans skip these camps to train on their own or enjoy the off-season.
However, due to the nature of the trade rumors and social media activity from that very day and the one before, this helped to continue to spark rumors.
Reports start saying that Peterson is mad about somebody in the organization.
In another chapter of the wild date of April 23rd, the Arizona Republic’s Kent Sommers asked his source close to Peterson about the situation. Two key quotes were pulled from this, as Sommers said via Twitter that someone in the Cardinals management said something to Peterson that
"pissed him off."
He then asked if it was enough to spur a trade, the response;
"I don’t think it’s that big of a deal…yet."
Somers then noted that the discussion ended after that.
Kliff Kingsbury weighs in on the situation.
Darren Urban of AZCardinals.com talked to Kingsbury about the situation. The coach remained mum about the situation and said Peterson wants to be a Cardinals and is staying put, via Urban’s Twitter.
Peterson tests positive for usage of performance enhancing drugs.
News broke from ESPN’s Adam Schefter that the cornerback would be suspended for six games due to the use of performance enhancing drugs. The suspension means that he won’t be able to play until the New York Giants matchup on October 20th.
The suspension also means that the cornerback would lose nearly $4 million in salary and will not be able to make a Pro-Bowl for the first in his career. The backlash from the situation was intense and is just another turn in the wild ride that is Peterson’s off-season.
NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport then noted that Peterson’s suspension went from four games to six because he used a masking agent in order to avoid testing positively.
Peterson apologizes at his annual charity event in Scottsdale.
Just hours after the news broke about his suspension, Peterson talked about the situation at his Scottsdale charity event dubbed Patrick Peterson Foundation for Success. In the statement, Peterson apologized and said
"I think you guys understand my character, and also understand my commitment on and off the field, and also to my teammates and the Arizona Cardinals organization — That’s why this is very, very hard for me, because I’ve obviously never been in this situation before and never wanted to have my name attached to anything like this."
Peterson was then asked about his cryptic social media habits and relationship with the team. He responded by saying
"The relationship is great — I know you guys speculated, me erasing the pictures, but I had a lot going on. Now I want to have a new look. I want to put a lot more fashion pictures up there right now. Instagram can definitely promote life after football, so I wanted to put some more fashionable looks on there. .. But for the most part, our relationship is great. I had a conversation with Steve [Keim] earlier, so I’m just looking forward to moving forward."
And that’s all we know.
As you can tell by the above quotes, posts, and activities, Peterson’s off-season has been nothing short of dramatic. But, nothing learned has been concrete. Yes, there have been trade rumors, and yes, the cornerback’s social-media habits are worrisome, but that’s all we know.
As it currently stands, Peterson is an Arizona Cardinal that won’t play the first six games next season. Other than that, very little is known about his future with the team. Either way, it’s been a crazy off-season for both the team and the perrenial Pro-Bowl cornerback.