Arizona Cardinals Patrick Peterson has become a liability
By Jim Koch
After eight outstanding seasons, the career of Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson is rapidly spiraling downward
Back in October, the trade rumors surrounding the Arizona Cardinals would not die down. The one name that kept coming up in conversations, Patrick Peterson, had been discussed on several occasions before. Would the Cards front office finally get an offer for their number-one cornerback that was too good to pass up?
When the smoke had cleared, general manager Steve Keim resisted any temptation he may have had to send Peterson on his way. Many fans of the club, including yours truly, were happy with Arizona’s decision to hang on to the talented cover guy. Sure, the perennial Pro Bowler’s six-game suspension had hurt the squad, but most Cardinals loyalists were more than willing to put that indiscretion in the rearview mirror.
Six weeks have come and gone since the October 29th trade deadline, and some doubts about whether Keim did the right thing have surfaced. Since returning from his NFL-mandated banishment in week seven, Peterson has been plain awful. Amazingly, the fifth-overall selection of the 2011 draft has actually become a liability to the organization that drafted him.
Peterson’s level of play has deteriorated quickly. The 29-year old tested positive for PEDs, which was the reason for his punishment at the beginning of the current campaign. Could it be that those substances that Peterson immediately had to stop ingesting were drastically helping his performance?
Obviously, Keim and the Cards didn’t think so. If they did believe that Peterson needed the banned supplements to compete, they most likely would’ve sent him packing when they had a chance to. That’s not to say that the team doesn’t feel differently about that subject now, however.
Peterson has one season remaining on the five-year $70 million-plus contract extension he was signed to back in 2014. His deal carries a salary-cap hit of over $13 million in 2020. Peterson has three more matchups in 2019 to prove to Arizona that he’s worth that kind of money, but it’s possible that Keim and company may have already decided that he isn’t.
If that is indeed the case, it would not be surprising if Peterson is traded in the offseason. Finding a franchise who’s willing to take on his salary, and give the Cardinals something in return, will be the challenge. Peterson has been one of the best at his position over the past eight campaigns, but it appears that his time in the desert could very well be coming to an end.