Patrick Peterson has one final goodbye he wanted to deliver to Arizona fans.
The former Cardinals cornerback, who left as a free agent to go to the Vikings last month, penned an essay for The Players' Tribune that was released Tuesday morning. Peterson did briefly talk about his time in the desert during his introductory press conference, but this latest effort gave him some time and space to put into words what he experienced over his decade as a Cardinal.
Peterson talks about growing up in Arizona, where he got married and started his family. Learning under Darnell Dockett and Joey Porter when he first got in the league, how he still gets chills thinking about playing for the same organization as Pat Tillman, his development under Bruce Arians. He called Carson Palmer his all-time favorite teammate.
He notes that he's still chasing a championship ring in Minnesota with the Vikings, but that a piece of him will always be in Arizona.
"When people start throwing around the L-word — when they start talking legacy — I know how I want to be remembered," Peterson wrote. "I hope Arizona puts my number up with all their greats — guys like Pat and Larry Wilson and J.V. Cain. I spent the majority of my time in Arizona. I had a great time there. I built my career there. It's like I said when I was drafted: I feel like I'm a Cardinal."
He thanks so many of the day-to-day staffers with whom he worked with -- the guys in the equipment room, the women in the cafeteria, the trainers, the football video staff, even our own Lisa Matthews and old friend Jonny Hayward -- as well as talking about how scared and confused he was when he first found out he had diabetes. (He briefly talks about testing positive for PEDs, but doesn't get into detail, other than to imply he ingested something he didn't know about, and that he was taking that product for two years.)
He reiterated he was a little surprised to be moving on, even if it didn't blindside him. But it was clear to him (and most, to be honest) that this was probably the direction this was all headed.
He's aiming to play at least 15 seasons, he writes, which means he's going to try and go at least another five. He talked about looking forward to this season's game when the Vikings will visit State Farm Stadium.
"I gotta thank the Red Sea," Peterson wrote. "Y'all have given me everything and more. I was a little sad to be leaving at first. I won't lie, after 10 years, I wish everything had been a little more upfront in the end. It's no secret that I was disappointed with the process and how everything went down. But as I turn this corner, I can't help but feel that it all worked out the way it was supposed to."