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Locked On Rams Now, Patrick Peterson Hopes To Be With Cardinals In Future

Former Pro Bowl cornerback set to be free agent for first time after 2020

Prospective free agent CB Patrick Peterson hopes to remain with the Cardinals, but says it's unknown if that will happen.
Prospective free agent CB Patrick Peterson hopes to remain with the Cardinals, but says it's unknown if that will happen.

Patrick Peterson has a pivotal offseason ahead of him, but that doesn't supersede the importance of the here and now.

The Cardinals' veteran cornerback is set to be a free agent for the first time this offseason, but said his focus is on beating the Rams and making the postseason, not what comes after it.

"Everything is going to take care of itself," Peterson said. "I've done all I can to present that I would love to be here. At the end of the day, it's up to them. We just have to wait and see what the future brings after the season. I'm definitely locked in and loaded to make sure my guys are ready to roll for this Sunday's matchup."

The Cardinals selected Peterson with the No. 5 overall pick in the 2011 draft, then gave him a five-year, $70 million extension after his third season. This is the final year of that deal, opening up the possibility of his first foray into the open market.

It wouldn't be the best timing, as the salary cap is set to decline due to the lost revenue from the COVID-19 pandemic.

"It's definitely going to be unique," Peterson said. "I think it's the first time in 20 years that the cap is going down and is set at (a floor of) $175 million. Teams will have to do a great job of having their money managers putting their money in the right place to keep the key guys they need to help them win a championship."

Peterson's spot in the Cardinals' free agent pecking order will be a hotly-debated topic this offseason. He is an eight-time Pro Bowler and a three-time All-Pro who was arguably the best cover corner in the NFL in his prime.

At 30, Peterson isn't at that peak anymore, but defensive coordinator Vance Joseph doesn't hesitate in calling him the team's "ace" cornerback.

"There is no such thing, in my opinion, as a total lockdown corner," Joseph said. "You have good players at corner, but every corner in this league is going to get beat on occasion. Pat is still playing consistent, good football for us. He's getting challenged more often because everyone is getting challenged in this league with the pass game. He is still a great leader, he works every day, and he still helps us win."

Peterson has allowed 49 catches for 705 yards and five touchdowns on 79 targets this season, according to Pro Football Focus, which equates to a passer rating against of 96.2. Last week against the 49ers, Peterson did not allow a catch.

"For the most part I believe I had a solid season," Peterson said. "Some plays I definitely wish I could have back, but you can't. Just have to go back and watch the film, and watch how teams are attacking me, which is drags and crossers, running through traffic. I have to find a way this offseason of maneuvering better through things like that, if that's how teams are going to attack us if I'm here next year."

After being ineligible for last year's Pro Bowl due to suspension, Peterson was not chosen this year. It was the first time in his 10-year career that Peterson failed to make the Pro Bowl when eligible.

"I'll get it next year," Peterson said.

For whom, Peterson did not specify.

Images from the Dignity Health Training Center, presented by Hyundai.

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