Last week, Richard Sherman of the Seattle Seahawks became the highest-paid cornerback in the game. And in the wake of that development, another very good cornerback, Patrick Peterson of the Arizona Cardinals, became just a little more fired up.
Peterson, who is still playing out his rookie contract, suggested this week that he’s worth more than the All-Pro Sherman.
The bravado is probably something Bruce Arians could do without, but the reality is that Peterson might not be far off. While he won’t bluntly say that he thinks he’s better than Sherman, he has indicated so in as many words, and it’s not a wild notion.
Sherman gets all of the headlines, but he’s 26. Peterson is only 23. Sherman makes some bigger plays in the defensive backfield and forces more turnovers, but Peterson — a fifth overall pick in 2011 — might have more sheer talent and versatility.
Both players ranked in the top 15 among corners in coverage last season, per Pro Football Focus, but neither made the top five. Sherman has an edge without considering pedigree and age, but those things have to be taken into account, as does Peterson’s ability as a return man.
And in what might have been a veiled shot at Sherman, Peterson made a good point in this tweet back in January:
I take on the #1 WR 95% of the time. I just don't play left corner, I'm everywhere like FedEx.
— Patrick Peterson (@RealPeterson21) January 25, 2014
So Peterson has a compelling argument. And the team might know it, because ESPN tweeted Tuesday that the two sides are in talks over an extension that could be worth over $60 million. Without knowing how much of that is guaranteed and how many years are on the deal, it’s impossible to know whether that contract would be better or worse than the four-year, $56 million deal Sherman signed last week. Still, anything in that $60 million range probably has a chance to out-value Sherman’s contract.
And that shouldn’t shock anyone.