According to Jrecki, the Cardinals would like to work a long-term extension with Peterson during the season, although the two sides wouldn't be able to formally agree to a deal until after the 2013 season due to rules in the collective bargaining agreement. Peterson is currently signed through the 2014 season and is eligible for a contract extension following next season. Getting an extension done sooner rather than later could benefit both Peterson and the Cardinals.
After struggling some in coverage as a rookie, Peterson was much better last season. He made the Pro Bowl as a cornerback and established himself among the rising corners in the league. By locking up Peterson after three years, the Cardinals would avoid a potential bidding war on the open market. An extension would also benefit Peterson as he would gain long-term security without having to risk injury during another season.
Locking in a long-term deal may also be wise for Peterson because the cornerback market proved to unpredictable this past season. Also, while he's talented, Peterson may not be the top cornerback on the 2015 market. Seattle's Richard Sherman, Cleveland's Joe Haden, New Yorks, Antonio Cromartie, Pittsburgh's Ike Taylor and Green Bay's Tramon Williams are all currently scheduled to be free agents in the summer of 2015.
If Peterson and the Cardinals do agree to a long-term deal, he's likely to be paid like one of the NFL's top cornerbacks. Here's a look at a few of the highest-paid corners and how Peterson might compare.
Darrelle Revis, Tampa Bay
Contract: six years, $96 million, $0 guaranteed, $13 million per season
Revis' annual salary of $13 million is the gold standard for cornerbacks, although his deal isn't likely to be a comp for Peterson. Revis didn't sign the deal after hitting the open market, and most players aren't likely to opt for no guaranteed money. There is also the fact Revis' latest deal was his third NFL contract. Even coming off an injury, Revis' standard of play is at a level Peterson is yet to approach.
Johnathan Joseph, Houston
Contract: five years, $48.75 million, $12.5 million guaranteed, $9.75 million per season
Joseph's deal makes him the fifth-highest paid cornerback in the NFL, but he's one of the few top cornerbacks to change teams via free agency. Joseph was 27 when he signed the deal, while Peterson is currently 22. Assuming Peterson maintains his current level of play, Joseph's deal seems like a nice baseline for Peterson.
Brandon Flowers, Kansas City
Contract: six years, $49.35 million, $10 million guaranteed, $8.225 million per season
Flowers is an interesting comparison because, like Peterson, Flowers was rising cornerback entering the prime of his career when he signed his deal. He was 25 years old and a year away from free agency.
The best comparison for Peterson may still come. Haden is currently 24 and is eligible for a contract extension. If he were to sign before Peterson, he would likely set the market for the young players signing their second contracts. Additionally, Sherman has established himself as one of the top cornerbacks on the market and will be eligible for an extension at the same time as Peterson. Whichever player agreed to an extension first could have a major impact on the other's negotiations.
Another important factor in negotiations will be the impact of the new NFL television rights deal. The 10-year, $27 billion deal is set to take effect in 2014. The deal will increase revenue and could have a significant impact on the salary cap and player contracts.