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Contract Won't Derail Patrick Peterson

Posted May 12, 2014

Cornerback won't "slack off" because he doesn't yet have extension

Cornerback Patrick Peterson (21) does positional drills Monday morning during the Cardinals' Phase 2 on-field work.

Patrick Peterson has a goal of being the highest paid cornerback in the NFL, and the new benchmark has been set by Richard Sherman, who agreed to a four-year, $57.4 million extension with the Seahawks last Wednesday.

However, even if a new contract can’t be reached soon, the Cardinals’ star cornerback scoffed at the idea of friction arising from the situation. Peterson said he has no plans to hold out or otherwise show disapproval if the sides can’t come to an agreement before the season, noting there are still two years left on his rookie contract.

“I don’t want to slack off just because I didn’t get paid or didn’t get compensated the way I felt I needed to,” he said on Monday at Donovan’s Steak and Chop House in Phoenix, where Peterson promoted his Celebs and Steaks Dinner set for June 9. “I want to help this team win ballgames. I want to bring a Super Bowl here to Arizona. … I’m working toward something big, and to me, that’s much bigger than a contract.”

Part of “something big” is Peterson’s charity, the aptly named Patrick Peterson Foundation for Success. It provides low-income and inner-city youth opportunities and resources to aid their growth, and will be the beneficiary of Peterson’s dinner next month. (For more details or to order tickets, go to patrickpeterson.org.)

But all things Peterson start with football, and Cardinals General Manager Steve Keim has said more than once Peterson will be doing that in Arizona, not anywhere else.

Peterson is among several stars from the 2011 draft class now eligible for an extension, although teams have been in no hurry to get those deals done. Like the other big names, Peterson’s fifth-year option has been exercised, so he’s not yet close to free agency. The Cardinals own an option year for 2015.

“I’m definitely observant of what (Sherman) got,” Peterson said. “Obviously by him being the highest paid cornerback, the goal for the guys that come after him is to be higher than him. I believe he set the table pretty high, and me and my agent have some work to do.”

Peterson will once again be the team’s top cornerback in 2014, but he’s gotten some reinforcements in the secondary this offseason. Free agent Antonio Cromartie was signed to a one-year deal to start at the other corner position, while strong safety Deone Bucannon was drafted in the first round.  Peterson said Bucannon has already been texting and calling him frequently to learn the tricks of the trade.

Another draft pick, wide receiver John Brown, could take over some of Peterson’s punt return duties next season along with free agent addition Ted Ginn. Peterson has no problem scaling back on special teams.

“If it was my choice I’d never come off the field, but I think that’s cool,” Peterson said.

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