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Free Agency

The NY Jets should steer clear of Patrick Peterson in free agency

NY Jets, Patrick Peterson Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
NY Jets, Patrick Peterson Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
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The NY Jets will need help at a variety of positions this offseason, one of which being cornerback. With a glaring need in the defensive backfield, would someone like Patrick Peterson make sense as a potential upgrade?

FanSided’s Matt Verderame reported on Monday that the Cardinals are expected to move on from the former All-Pro cornerback this offseason. After 10 years in Arizona, it appears as though the organization is ready for a change.

This news doesn’t come as a huge surprise given that Peterson’s play has slipped in recent years and he’s coming off arguably the worst season since his rookie campaign.

But given the legend that Peterson is in Arizona, this was always going to be big news. And there will likely be a few teams still vying for his services this offseason.

Why the NY Jets should steer clear of Patrick Peterson

Originally a first-round pick way back in 2011, Peterson has started all 154 career games he’s played for the Cardinals. He’s an eight-time Pro Bowler, three-time first-team All-Pro, and a surefire future Hall of Famer.

By all accounts, Peterson is one of the greatest cornerbacks of the past decade and he’ll one day be enshrined in Canton. But at 30-years-old, it’s fair to wonder how much he has left in the tank.

Peterson last made the Pro Bowl in 2018 when he was ranked as Pro Football Focus‘ fifth-highest graded cornerback. And while his play slipped a little in 2019, he was certainly still a starting-caliber player.

But in 2020, he received the lowest PFF grade since his rookie season earning a woeful 55.2 grade which ranked 83rd out of 121 qualifiers. His best days may be behind him, but perhaps there’s still some potential left to be uncovered.

The Jets, however, are not in a position to make a serious run at Peterson.

For starters, it’s likely that Peterson will want to go to a place where he can win now given that his career is winding down. Even if it’s not in a starting role, landing with a true Super Bowl contender is likely at the top of his priorities.

And from the Jets’ perspective, there are certainly more appealing options out there.

Whether they go for another, more effective, veteran cornerback like Richard Sherman, opt for a younger free agent like William Jackson, or target the position in the draft, Peterson is far from the most appealing solution to their problem.

If anything, he’d be another stop-gap, band-aid fix to a persistent problem. Pierre Desir wasn’t the answer, and it’s unlikely that Peterson is either.

Given his age and decreasing speed, there will be some who suggest a move to safety, as many cornerbacks his age tend to do. That’s fine, but again, he wouldn’t make much sense for the Jets.

Peterson would be a good fit as a free safety, but the Jets are likely to do everything in their power to bring back Marcus Maye this offseason. And 2020 third-round pick Ashtyn Davis is more of a natural free safety too.

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Whether as a cornerback or a safety, Patrick Peterson just doesn’t fit the trajectory of the organization. And for that reason, the Jets should steer clear of the former All-Pro cornerback this offseason.

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