Patrick Peterson’s Next Contract is Going to be Expensive

Jan 9, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings cornerback Patrick Peterson (7) celebrates his interception for a touchdown against the Chicago Bears in the fourth quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Currently, Minnesota’s CB1 is making a mere $4 million in 2022. Patrick Peterson’s next contract is going to be a fair bit more expensive.

After 12 games, Peterson has shown that he’s not too old to still get it done.

Obviously, the notion that Minnesota’s already tight budget will get even more snug will be concerning to some fans. After all, the team is projected to have negative cap space in 2023. Simply being cap compliant will require some financial gymnastics from Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and his team.

Nevertheless, having a player play at such a high level that he’s earning a sizable new deal is a good thing. Corner is one of the game’s most important positions. If Peterson hadn’t played so well in 2022, the Vikings would be in trouble.

For this reason, Patrick Peterson’s next contract shouldn’t worry fans too much.

Exploring the Possibilities for Patrick Peterson’s Next Contract

A recent article from Brad Spielberger – who tends to do top-notch work when it comes to the NFL salary cap – offered his take on what some contract-year veterans could get on their next deals. Spielberger thinks James Bradberry will get a 2-year, $24 million deal. Bradberry is a touch younger than Peterson, but it’s a notable projection. According to the site’s rankings, Bradberry is playing well but not elite. Peterson, in contrast, is getting stellar grades.

So, where does that leave the Vikings when it comes to Patrick Peterson’s next contract?

The State of the Vikings
Nov 13, 2022; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Minnesota Vikings safety Harrison Smith (22) greets cornerback Patrick Peterson. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports.

We can be fairly certain that the team will look to bring him back. Peterson has repeatedly spoken about his desire to stick around town. He will get a raise; playing at such a high level makes it a near guarantee. Nevertheless, Adofo-Mensah will need to be shrewd. Money isn’t infinite in Minnesota.

In many ways, the Bradberry projection makes a lot of sense for Peterson. A 2-year deal means Peterson gets a bit more security and the team avoids needing to commit to an older player for too long. Having the couple years allows Minnesota to move money around, perhaps kicking the larger cap hit into the future. And don’t forget about void years. We know that dead money can make life challenging for a team, but Adofo-Mensah has given us very little reason to believe he won’t be aggressive. If the leadership thinks the Super Bowl window is open, then the GM probably won’t be too shy about borrowing from future salary caps.

Peterson has really impressed in 2022. His 3 INTs and 12 PDs are strong. His physicality in run defense is an overlooked part of his game. Perhaps most importantly, his brain is second to none. Peterson is a very smart football player. Even if his physical speed has declined, Peterson can still play fast because he understands and processes the game excellently.

Forced to guess, I’d say the defense takes a good step forward in 2023. Mike Zimmer had led the defense for a long time. Switching to Ed Donatell’s 3-4 represents a sizable shift in philosophy. The veteran CB has handled the switch with aplomb, showing that he’s more than capable of succeeding in Donatell’s defense.

Patrick Peterson will likely be sticking around Minnesota for at least a couple more years. That’s good news.

Editor’s Note: Information from Over the Cap, PFF, and Pro Football Reference helped with this piece.

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