Patrick Peterson is about to be a very rich man, that much is certain. The question that has been posed on Twitter and sports talk radio shows all over the country is just how rich should he be? Will Peterson become the highest paid cornerback in the NFL? Does he deserve to be?
Elite NFL cornerbacks have had a very good week. First it was the Seahawks’ Richard Sherman who signed a four-year extension worth $57 million that includes $40 million in guaranteed money. Shortly thereafter the Browns’ top corner Joe Haden signed an extension worth $68 million with $45 million of that guaranteed. That is some serious money. The timing couldn’t have been better for Peterson.
Peterson and the Cardinals had already begun early discussions for a contract extension for the fifth overall pick of the 2011 draft. Even though Peterson still has two years remaining on his current deal, the Cardinals want to reward the guy who has gone to three straight Pro Bowls in his first three years in the league. With two of the top cornerbacks if the NFL getting huge deals, Peterson and his agent now have an established market for his value. Now the question becomes will they be happy in the same neighborhood or will they try and raise the bar?
So does Patrick Peterson deserve to be paid more than Haden and Sherman?
Based on his Twitter response, we all know that Sherman doesn’t think so. Of course these days we can’t seem to go more than a day or two without hearing what Sherman thinks about something. That guy needs a vacation, or maybe a month without his phone. Too much to ask?
As much as it pains me to ask, does Richard Sherman have a point?
In case you missed it, here is Sherman’s tweet.
— Richard Sherman (@RSherman_25) May 13, 2014
While Sherman may have more interceptions than Peterson and be the least targeted corner in football, that doesn’t exactly tell the whole story. Sherman plays strictly on one side of the field which makes it far easier for opposing offenses to simply go to the other side against the Seattle defense. This is very similar to the way Nnamdi Asomugha was used with the Raiders. We all saw what happened when he went to the Eagles and tried to play in a more traditional system. It didn’t end well.
Peterson on the other hand is utilized all over the field. He is usually matched up with the other team’s best receiver and shadows him wherever he goes similar to the way the Broncos used Champ Bailey for years. He has also been an excellent return man and was even used as a receiver last season. He has literally done whatever the team has asked him to do in his first three years with the team. Wisely the Cardinals are reportedly planning on ending his days as a wide receiver and severally limiting his opportunities as a returner. It’s time for Peterson to focus on becoming the best cover corner in the league.
While Peterson may not be the best corner in the league just yet, that doesn’t mean he won’t get paid like one. That’s the way these situations play out. Hopefully Peterson and his agent will be happy being in the same financial club as Haden and Sherman, he certainly deserves that. They should also consider the Cardinals good will in discussing a contract extension so soon. These are not the same ole Cardinals. The Cardinals have proved themselves willing to reward their best players, the ones who perform and work hard both on and off the field.
Peterson is about to join an elite group that includes players like Larry Fitzgerald, Adrian Wilson, Calais Campbell, and Darnell Dockett. If he can continue to perform at high level, he will be worth every penny to a Cardinals team that hasn’t has too many stars to call their own.