Wide receivers and cornerbacks often share some of the most heated moments in practice and at training camp.
But for now, it’s all love between the Minnesota Vikings star wide receivers and their new teammate, former Arizona Cardinals defensive back Patrick Peterson.
Following the news of the Vikings signing Peterson to a one-year, $10 million contract, both Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson took to social media to express their excitement in the signing.
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Thielen Expects to Hit the Tees with Peterson, Jefferson Reunited With Former Mentor
Thielen tweeted “Looks like I have a new gold partner! Let’s gooooo” as both Thielen and Peterson are approaching the age of 31 and like to spend their free time on the golf course.
Jefferson’s relationship with Peterson was nurtured before the 22-year-old was even in college. Jefferson’s oldest brother, Jordan, who played quarterback at LSU, was teammates with Peterson in their time with the Tigers. Jefferson used to tag along in the locker room and after games, per Star Tribune reporter Ben Goessling.
Now, they’ll line up against each other as Peterson can provide a veteran eye to the improvements Jefferson can make to his game.
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Peterson Bolsters Cornerbacks Group With Veteran Experience
Peterson, an eight-time Pro Bowler and three-time All-Pro honoree, hasn’t earned either accolade since 2018. He faced a six-game suspension for a violation of the NFL’s performance-enhancing drug policy in 2019 and struggled in 2020, posting his worst Pro Football Focus coverage grade (53.1) since his rookie year. He also led all cornerbacks in penalties (12) last season.
However, Peterson, who has relied on his speed and athleticism for the majority of his career, could benefit from the tutelage of coach Mike Zimmer, widely regarded as a cornerbacks guru.
In return, the Vikings are betting that Peterson will provide a steady veteran presence in the locker room that was missing in 2020. Third-year cornerbacks Holton Hill and Mike Hughes were the most-experienced cornerbacks on the team last year. Hill was released before the season ended, meanwhile, Hughes suffered his second season-ending neck injury in as many years.
Peterson has been one of the most durable cornerbacks in the league, playing all 16 games in every season besides 2019. He has played the most snaps of any active cornerback in the NFL, which bodes well for Minnesota needing a consistent third cornerback to compliment 2020 third-round rookie Cameron Dantzler and 2020 first-round slot corner Jeff Gladney.
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