The Arizona Cardinals picked up the fifth-year option on cornerback Patrick Peterson, ensuring he'll be with the team through the 2015 season, but they are reportedly approaching a deal that would keep him with the team even longer. According to ESPN, Peterson and the Cardinals are negotiating a new contract that "could be worth in excess of $60 million."
Why it makes sense
The important benchmark to remember is the four-year, $57.4 million contract extension signed by Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman. While most would say that Sherman has been a more valuable player than Peterson in the three years that each player has been in the NFL, convincing Peterson of that might be more difficult.
Peterson has earned trips to the Pro Bowl in all three of his NFL seasons and earned first-team All-Pro nods in two of them. It shouldn't be surprising, then, that Peterson told ESPN that he believes he's worth more than the two-time Pro Bowl cornerback in Seattle.
Obviously the Cardinals will want to reach a deal that is affordable on their end, but the precedent has been set with Sherman's deal and it's going to be hard for them to get Peterson to settle for anything less. Is a deal exceeding $60 million a lot for a cornerback? Sure, but the Cardinals might not have a choice.
Why it doesn't make sense
Is Peterson really worth more than Sherman? No, probably not.
Make no mistake, with three Pro Bowls in three years, Peterson is a very good cornerback, but he's simply not in Sherman's class. While Peterson performed well against some of the NFL's best receivers in 2013 and held opposing quarterbacks to a 64.8 passer rating in 2012, Sherman kept opposing passer ratings under 50 in each of the last two seasons.
Simply put, Sherman has been a superior player over the last two seasons and giving Peterson a deal that pays him more treads dangerously into the "overpaid" territory.
Overpaying or not, the Seahawks set a price tag that the Cardinals will have to match if they hope to retain his services. Ultimately, ESPN's report of the $60 million extension is one that makes sense and seems likely to happen.