Early in February, speculations were that eight-time Pro Bowler Patrick Peterson would not be re-signed by the Arizona Cardinals. That is yet to be official, but after the signing of J.J. Watt, it seems unlikely that Peterson will return for this 11th season. Barring any change of hearts, Peterson should enter NFL Free Agency and have plenty of offers. The move would be daring, but Peterson should be a Los Angeles Chargers free agency target.
The 2020 season wasn’t a productive one for the Chargers’ secondary. Casey Hayward had a down year and newly-signed Chris Harris Jr. missed almost half of the season with a foot injury. Upcoming free agent Michael Davis performed higher than expectations, but overall, the cornerback position needs improving.
Chargers Free Agency Target: Patrick Peterson
Peterson is entering his 11th season in the NFL and is still just as productive as he was early in his career. He has played in almost every game for his career, besides missing six games in 2019. The availability is there and he found a way to stay healthy—something the Chargers players can learn from.
Peterson swiped three interceptions in 2020, marking 28 total for his career. He also batted down eight pass attempts, as he continues to prove to be a lockdown corner. Peterson finished with 61 tackles on the season. That is the second-highest for his career since his rookie season, where he ended with 64 total tackles.
The three-time All-Pro is almost 31 years old and has plenty of gas left in the tank. He may not be in the “prime” of his career anymore, but make no mistake, Peterson is still among the elite corners in the NFL. Every quarterback in the league knows Peterson’s capability to intercept the ball on any given attempt. His presence will be more valuable than anything, especially with the other corners playing alongside him.
The LSU Alum would start opposite Casey Hayward, with Chris Harris Jr. holding down the slot. That corps has a combined 14 Pro Bowls over the last 10 seasons. If Peterson entertains the Chargers’ offer and decides to take his talents to Los Angeles, then that will be one of the biggest acquisitions in Chargers’ history.
Chargers Cap Space
The Chargers currently have $23M available in cap space and are looking to increase that number. The Bolts are considering cutting some veteran players and save up to $20M more in cap space. With over $40M to spend this offseason, there is plenty of room to give Peterson the deal he wants. Peterson’s market value is around $10M, so a three-year, $30M deal can get the job done. They will still have over $30M to spend on other crucial free agents.