In retrospect, despite persistent chatter about the future of cornerback Patrick Peterson during the 2020 season, his departure was inevitable.
AllCardinals surmised that in our recent analysis of Peterson’s 1-year contract with the Minnesota Vikings, noting it was apparent the Cardinals had decided to move on from the 10-year veteran.
That has been essentially confirmed by Peterson in comments on his All Things Covered podcast, along with the revelation by Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer that it was Peterson’s suggestion that his agent contact the team to express his interest in being in Minnesota.
When that happened, the deal came together quickly.
Said Zimmer, “I really didn’t have anything other than I knew about him as a player. Obviously, I watched him on tape from this past year. It was kind of nice. He was trying to decide where he wanted to go and he asked his agent to call me here. Then I called him to talk to him about what he’s looking for and some of those things. It was able to work out.
“Like I think (general manager) Rick (Spielman) said, we got it done in about five hours. He was in the Bahamas with his family. So it was honestly probably a really lucky break that we were able to do that. But he kind of initiated wanting to come here, so I thought that was really important as well.”
So, when did Peterson realize his days in Arizona were likely over?
“Honestly, I would probably say (I knew) after the last game,” Peterson said on his podcast. “I’ve been around this game for a long time, I’ve seen a lot of good players get to this stage: Darnell Dockett, Calais Campbell, Adrian Wilson ... when you pretty much play out your contract year and they haven’t really came to you about anything during the season, you kind of got the feel.
“I understand that’s the business, I understand they want to go in the different direction.”
When the subject of his legacy became the subject, Peterson was asked if his achievements deserve having his jersey retired by the franchise. That’s only been done for five players.
“I think I have (done enough), to be honest with you. I think I have,” he said. “I’ve done some things that a lot of Arizona Cardinals haven’t done. We’ve had a lot of greats.”
While the jersey retirement might be a long shot, it appears likely at some point after his career ends that he will join the team’s Ring of Honor.
For now, he is focusing on a new team and while there had been speculation a switch to safety might be on the horizon, that won’t be the case this year.
Said Zimmer, “That’s what he is; he’s always been a great corner. I think he wants to continue to get better. I know he wants to continue to play longer. And we’re hopeful that we can help him to do that.”
While thanking the Red Sea and the organization for making him a first-round pick in 2011, Peterson also noted how proud he is for the impact he had in the community through his foundation, which enabled him to help “provide low-income and inner-city youth with opportunities and resources.”
He concluded, “All-in-all, I’m blessed to have the opportunity to spend 10 years with an organization because we all know how rare that is.”