For most of his Cardinals career Patrick Peterson united the Cardinals fan base as they championed him as the most overlooked superstar defensive player in the NFL. The last few years though, Patrick Peterson has divided the Cardinals fan base. From his on again/off again trade demands, to his PED suspension and public ambiguity/apology to his performance on the field, Peterson has been as scrutinized of a franchise player as any in the NFL.
Make no mistake, P2 is a Hall of Famer. He’s one of the five most prolific players to wear a Cardinals uniform since they arrived in the desert with a real case to be named #2 behind Larry Fitzgerald.
I, like all of you, have watched as Peterson slips out of the upper echelon of cover corners into the grab bag of veteran dudes who are hit or miss on any given play, series and game.
But now is not the time to cut the cord with Patrick Peterson.
I’m not going to inundate you with PFF grades, analytic context or cherry pick stats to frame my argument. We’ve all watched Patrick Peterson, we all know he isn’t the same player now that he was pre-PED suspension.
But now is not the time to cut the cord with Patrick Peterson, as one report suggested earlier this week.
The case for keeping Peterson is not because his on field dominance would be greatly missed. His presence isn’t vital to the success of the defense, the way it was for so many years. In fact, Peterson’s style might be better served in a different style on a different team.
And the case for keeping Peterson is not for his leadership on a young team. While Peterson has rightfully earned a role as a leader of an NFL locker room, his waffling commitment to the team has rendered much of his leadership as empty rhetoric.
The case for keeping Patrick Peterson is simple: it prevents the Cardinals from needing to completely rebuild their secondary.
The Cardinals mandate should be clear this offseason: BUILD. THE. LINES.
Even Kyler Murray is in.
You can’t BUILD. THE. LINES. and rebuild the secondary, backfield and receiver room.
As anyone who has done home improvement work knows, you’ve got to focus on one big project at a time otherwise none of them get done the way you want.
The Cardinals can’t be distracted by the secondary. Could it be better? Could Patrick Peterson be better with a fresh start? Probably, but they’re fine. Pay P2 market value on a shorter term contract and move on to the real task at hand.
BUILD. THE. LINES.
Steve Keim didn’t listen to me last year, maybe if we repeat it enough this year he’ll listen.