The Minnesota Vikings have fast become a legitimate destination for quality NFL names to land long-term.
Nowhere is that more evident than in the recent comments made by eight-time Pro Bowl cornerback Patrick Peterson, who has found a home in Minnesota that he intends to keep.
“Patrick Peterson, 32, who told me recently he wants to play at least three more seasons, all with the #Vikings and wants to make at least one more Pro Bowl or have another All-Pro nod, is the fifth-ranked cornerback in the NFL by Pro Football Focus,” Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press tweeted on Monday, November 21.
Peterson’s Desire to Stay With Vikings a Vote of Confidence in New Leadership
Peterson’s desire to remain with the Vikings for what would ostensibly be the balance of his career is a nod to the new regime in Minneapolis, headed by general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and head coach Kevin O’Connell, both of whom are rookies in their current positions.
The cornerback’s first season with Minnesota came in 2021, a year prior to their arrivals, but the instant turnaround they’ve engineered has already brought each some NFL bonafides — transforming an 8-9 team from a year ago into one that won eight of its first nine games this season and has already all but locked up the NFC North Division.
Veteran leadership like what Peterson provides is crucial to the early tenures of new NFL leadership groups, as a player of his caliber and experience buying in wholesale to a franchise’s philosophy sends a message throughout the locker room. And nothing says “I’m all-in” like expressing publicly a desire to finish one’s career with a team still finding its way forward, even if it is 8-2 and tied for second place in the NFC as their Thanksgiving showdown against the New England Patriots approaches.
Peterson Having Comeback Year For Vikings After Dominant Decade to Start Career
Peterson’s first eight seasons in the league were nearly perfect, as he earned eight consecutive Pro Bowl trips and All-Pro honors three times with the Arizona Cardinals. While far from washed when he arrived in Minnesota last season, he did appear a cornerback on the decline, but that has all changed this season.
The Vikings are seventh in overall defense through 10 games, per Pro Football Focus (PFF), and Peterson has unquestionably been the secondary’s anchor. Fellow Pro Bowler and safety Harrison Smith has taken a step back analytically in 2022, rating out at 53rd among 85 qualifying safeties based on PFF grades. Cameron Bynum is even lower on that list at 61st.
Cameron Dantzler, who has started much of the year at cornerback opposite Peterson, is the 40th best CB in the league, per PFF. However, he has missed the previous two games with an ankle injury and will miss at least two more while designated to IR.
Meanwhile, Peterson grades out as the 5th best CB among 119 qualifying players at the position with an 80.9 overall rating and an 83.9 rating in pass coverage. He is on track to break his career high in passes defensed (16 in 2012) after breaking up 12 already through 10 starts. Peterson has also made 39 tackles, including three for loss, and recorded three interceptions this season.