The New England Patriots are showing interest in trading for Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson, a source told CBS Sports’ Bryant McFadden. McFadden’s source? His cousin, Patrick Peterson.
Seems fairly reliable.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported earlier Monday that Peterson wants to be traded from the Cardinals prior to the NFL’s Oct. 30 trade deadline. McFadden seemed to confirm that report via Twitter.
It takes two to tango, however, and Cardinals head coach Steve Wilks said Monday the team won’t be trading their All-Pro cornerback.
But let’s call Wilks’ bluff.
Peterson has a salary of $11 million this season. He’s under contract through the 2020 season. His salary prorated over the last nine weeks of the season is $5.8 million. His salary prorated over the last 10 weeks of the season is $6.5 million.
The Patriots currently have just over $5.2 million in salary cap room. They’ll need an excess of cap space just to finish out the season to pay out not-likely-to-be-earned roster bonuses.
So, the Patriots would have to free up money just to make the trade unless the Cardinals made it easier to deal the cornerback by eating dead cap space and converting base salary into a signing bonus. The Cardinals currently have $8.4 million in salary cap room.
Peterson would pair with Stephon Gilmore for perhaps the best cornerback duo in the NFL. Peterson has allowed just 16 catches on 28 targets for 134 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions this season for a passer rating allowed of just 39.9.
The Patriots don’t necessarily need cornerback help with Gilmore, Jason McCourty, Jonathan Jones, JC Jackson, Keion Crossen and Eric Rowe, who’s currently dealing with a groin injury, on their depth chart. But the Patriots’ defense as a whole has struggled this season, and Peterson would give the unit a significant boost.
The Patriots currently rank 25th in passing yards allowed, 25th in total yards allowed and 20th in points allowed. They’re fifth in interceptions per game, however.
The Patriots’ more clear needs are at defensive end and linebacker, but adding an elite cornerback would take pressure off other levels of the defense.
If the Patriots could find a way to add Peterson, and if it wouldn’t cost them too extravagantly, then it would be a no-brainer. But as of now, the Cardinals say they’re not parting with Peterson. And even if they change their mind, we don’t know the cost it would take to acquire him.
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