Patrick Peterson is a Cardinal no more. After a decade in Arizona, the eight-time Pro Bowler is signing a one-year deal worth up to $10 million with the Vikings, the team announced.
One of the most decorated players in Cardinals history, Peterson was named to the NFL's All-2010s team last year. During his 10 years in Arizona, the thee-time first-team All-Pro tallied 499 tackles, 28 interceptions, 91 passes defensed, and 12 fumble recoveries. Peterson spearheaded the Cardinals' run to a division title and NFC title game appearance in 2015.
"I never thought I'd be playing for another team," the longtime corner said on CBS Sports' All Things Covered podcast, noting that he realized after his final game in Arizona that he wouldn't be returning. "It's a blessing to be a part of something (that's) first class."
In Minnesota, Peterson joins a Vikings defense that finished 29th in the NFL in scoring, 25th in passing, 27th in rushing, 16th in third down efficiency and sixth in red zone efficiency last season. The unit was led by linebackers Eric Wilson (122 tackles, three sacks) and Eric Kendricks (107 tackles) along with safeties Anthony Harris (104 tackles) and Harrison Smith (89 tackles, five interceptions). Wilson and Harris are currently free agents.
As for why the veteran settled for a one-year deal, Peterson told All Things Considered that "if it wasn't with Arizona" he was determined to aim for a short-term contract and test the market again in 2022.
"Aye man," he said, "that cap (goes) back up next year."
In the meantime, Peterson will try to help the Vikings return to the postseason after Minnesota missed the playoffs in 2020. While their 2020 season was a disappointment, the Vikings received stellar individual efforts from running back Dalvin Cook and Justin Jefferson. Cook finished second in the NFL with 1,557 rushing yards, while Jefferson's 88 receptions and 1,400 receiving yards broke Randy Moss' franchise rookie records.
On the first day of free agency, the Vikings agreed to terms with receiver Chad Beebe, defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson, linebacker Nick Vigil and tackle Rashod Hill. Earlier this month, the team released veteran offensive tackle Riley Reiff and veteran tight end Kyle Rudolph.