Set to become a free agent after next season, Peterson is eligible to negotiate a fresh, long-term contract and, on Tuesday, he refused to shoot down the idea of a holdout to obtain the type of pact he’s looking for.
“I can’t speak on that right now,” the three-time Pro Bowl pick told ProFootballTalk. “Me and my agent (Joel Segal), we haven’t talked about some of those possibilities. But hopefully we can get something done. If something were to happen, we restructure my deal or anything like that, we’ll have to wait and see what happens.”
Arizona’s salary cap is tight, but after officially restructuring Larry Fitzgerald‘s weighty contract, the Cardinals have an extra $9.4 million to play with this offseason, per NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport.
The team also can choose to exercise a fifth-year option on Peterson, but that won’t erase the flock of major decisions that loom down the road. With Fitzgerald set to earn more than $23 million in 2015, Peterson — set to make just $2.9 million next season — is another expensive building block who might balk at anything but a handsome new deal.
Ranked as the 16th best cornerback in the league by Pro Football Focus, Peterson is one of the game’s athletic freaks, able to shut down targets in one-on-one coverage while doubling as a pass-catcher and dangerous punt returner. As the centerpiece of a defense that propelled Arizona to 10 wins this season, we wouldn’t be shocked to see the Cardinals opt to keep Peterson around while ultimately letting Fitzgerald walk.