Sometimes as an impartial NFL analyst, you hate writing these things. Because there are times when you have to admit in public that a player just doesn’t have it anymore. And that player might be a future Hall of Famer and a great guy who has done most everything the right way. Sadly, that’s what must now be said about Patrick Peterson, the eight-time Pro Bowler, three-time All-Pro, and member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s All-2010s team. All of those awards are legit, but Peterson’s last two seasons have been — and there’s no other way to put it — a comparative disaster.
The Vikings just signed Peterson, who had never played for anyone but the Cardinals, to a one-year, $10 million deal. That’s not big money for a cornerback per se, but it doesn’t do much for a Minnesota secondary that could lose safety Anthony Harris in free agency and has two 2020 rookies — Cameron Dantzler and Jeff Gladney — who struggled through most of their inaugural seasons.
Peterson missed the first six games of the 2019 season due to a suspension for a violations of the NFL’s performance-enhancing drug policy. In just 10 games that season, per Pro Football Focus, he allowed 39 receptions on 58 targets for 527 yards, 217 yards after the catch, four touchdowns, two interceptions, and an opponent passer rating of 104.6. It was Peterson’s first NFL season in which he allowed an opponent passer rating over 100, and the first time he was not named to a Pro Bowl. Peterson followed that up with a 2020 campaign in which he allowed 50 catches in 75 targets for 677 yards, 206 yards after the catch, five touchdowns, three interceptions, and an opponent passer rating of 100.8. Peterson also racked up 10 penalties last season, the most by any defensive back.
At age 30 (he’ll turn 31 in July), Peterson isn’t going to make a ton of plays anymore by matching the league’s best receivers through every nuance of their routes. But he does still bring minimal value as a guy who knows how to read quarterbacks, has an excellent sense of where the ball is going, and gets there to create incompletions and interceptions at times. The Vikings just have to understand the value of his adaptive strategies, and will need to work around the skills that have eroded over time.
A @P2 PICK!
— Sunday Night Football on NBC (@SNFonNBC) October 26, 2020
This with the aforementioned duo of 2020 rookies in Dantzler and Gladney who combined to allow 11 touchdowns to two interceptions last season. Minnesota’s secondary, which has been quite hospitable to opponents in the last few seasons, could be just that once again.
Credit belongs to: https://ca.sports.yahoo.com