It was frustration that led Pro Bowl cornerback Patrick Peterson to ask for a trade, Peterson said Wednesday, but he – and the team – were now moving on.
“You see the record,” Peterson said, in answering two different questions about why he was frustrated.
But, talking for the first time after the trade request came out and after Peterson had tweeted out a statement earlier Wednesday saying he was “100 percent focused on being part of the solution,” Peterson was ready to move forward rather than moving addresses.
“I’m sorry I took away from this game week, but it is what it is,” Peterson said. “My teammates are ready to move forward, Coach (Steve) Wilks is ready to move forward, and we’re just worried about getting a damn win, because we need one.”
Peterson chuckled as he said it, a light moment in an interview session about a serious topic.
Wilks said he and Peterson talked Monday. An ESPN report said team president Michael Bidwill provided Peterson “assurances” of the direction of the franchise, and Peterson said he and the team were in a good place. Peterson also noted he still has two years left on his contract after this season, a not-unimportant detail of the situation.
Asked what the assurances might have been, Peterson declined to get into detail. While the record has been an issue, Peterson noted the obvious – that Bidwill can’t guarantee the team will win.
“He can’t read the future,” Peterson said. “He’s not a psychic. But Mr. Bidwill has been doing a great job to make sure this team has everything to be successful.”
In his statement, Peterson pledged his focus.
"I've been incredibly frustrated with how the season has gone," Peterson wrote. "But my energy is 100 percent focused on being part of the solution and helping us turn this around. I've never shied away from a challenge before and I'm not starting now. I've always given my all to the Cardinals' organization, my teammates and fans. That is what I intend to do for the years to come. I am an Arizona Cardinal, and my focus is on this week's game."
The Cardinals, 1-6, host the 49ers this week. It is not the first time the Cardinals have struggled this much at this point in the season with Peterson on the roster; the 2011 team began the year 1-6 when Peterson was a rookie. The 2012 team lost nine in a row after a 4-0 start as well.
Veteran safety Antoine Bethea said he had a discussion with Peterson, keeping the details private. But he insisted Peterson will be committed to the Cardinals despite any frustration.
“I don’t think anyone coming into this season thought this would be our record, and then again, it may be some other things he might be frustrated with, but you have to let Pat speak on that,” Bethea said, adding, “It won’t have an effect on the locker room. Pat is one of the guys. He’s never been a cancer. He’s not that type of person, that type of player.”
Other than confirming he and Peterson spoke Monday, Wilks didn’t want to rehash the details of the week.
“We’ll use all that energy this Sunday in doing everything we can to win a football game,” Wilks said.
The Cardinals had already said they wouldn’t be dealing Peterson. Oct. 30 is the trade deadline. Asked if he could still ask for a trade after the season, Peterson referred to his statement.
“I’m completely focused on this week,” Peterson said. “I can’t think about the future, I can’t talk about the past.”
Niners coach Kyle Shanahan said while he didn’t know specifics of the situation, he thought the Cardinals and Peterson would find a way to work things out.
“I wish he wasn’t there this week,” Shanahan added. “If they can make that (trade) happen, I wouldn’t be upset about it. I fully expect him to be out there and playing at an extremely high level like he always does.”
Peterson said he had a couple of one-handed interceptions in practice Wednesday, and wanted to do that Sunday if he could. He said he had a good practice, and the Cardinals need the best from one of the top cover men in the game.
“At the end of the day I’m here, I’m an Arizona Cardinal,” Peterson said. “My teammates know I fight for those guys each and every day I step on the field. There’s a reason I have that ‘C’ on my chest and I want to lead by example.”
Images of the Cardinals cheerleaders during Thursday night's game against Denver at State Farm Stadium