Patrick Peterson Landing Spots: Buccaneers, Patriots, Steelers make intriguing options

With Minnesota Vikings CB Patrick Peterson potentially set to be a free agent in 2022, what are his possible landing spots this offseason?

After signing a one-year contract with the Minnesota Vikings, what are CB Patrick Peterson’s potential landing spots if he heads back to free agency in 2022? How has Peterson performed following a change of scenery, and which teams could look to acquire his services this offseason?

Patrick Peterson landing spots

It has been a somewhat mixed year for Peterson so far in Minnesota. On the downside, he’s played in just eight of the Vikings’ 12 games so far. On top of that, he has yet to pull in an interception after managing 7 picks over the last three seasons with the Cardinals.

However, he has given up just 1 touchdown, and his completion percentage allowed is his lowest of the past three seasons. Furthermore, his yards per completion allowed (11.9) is his best among his last four campaigns. With Peterson having largely impressed for the Vikings, which teams could be interested in signing him this offseason?

Could Peterson chase a ring with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers?

Jamel Dean has been very impressive on one side of the secondary for the Buccaneers. However, opposite him has been a revolving door. Peterson would provide a high-upside option opposite Dean and provide an immediate boost to Tampa Bay’s secondary.

The expectation is that Peterson will be looking for a big contract, but he might be willing to leave some money on the table to go after a ring with the Buccaneers. The allure of playing with Tom Brady has led to other big names taking smaller contracts to play in Tampa, and Peterson might follow that trend.

The New York Jets desperately need a veteran CB to lead their young secondary

Peterson’s move to the Vikings demonstrated he is still looking to lead a secondary. He would have that opportunity with the Jets. With one of the youngest defensive backfields in the league, the Jets need a leader and focal point. That need would be furthered if safety Marcus Maye leaves in free agency.

The Jets would be able to pay Peterson handsomely to come in and be their leader. They have close to $50 million in projected cap space, with 46 players under contract. They have the luxury of spending some money on premium free-agent options.

Peterson could provide an instant boost to the Pittsburgh Steelers’ secondary

It has not been pretty for the Steelers’ defense this year. The normally impenetrable unit has been among the worst in the NFL. The secondary has played a big part in those struggles, and the group will only be weakened by the potential departure of Joe Haden.

Addressing the secondary — and the defense in general — will be a big need for the Steelers. They have around $40 million in projected cap space with 43 players under contract. Pittsburgh might need to invest some cap space into a QB solution and upgrade their offensive line, but there should be enough cap room to invest in a high-profile CB to boost that secondary.

The New England Patriots have shown they are willing to bring in a high-profile CB

Darrell Revis, Aqib Talib, and Stephon Gilmore. The acquisition of all three of those corners caused quite a stir when the Patriots signed them to expensive free-agent contracts. What those three moves demonstrate is that New England is more than happy to go out and acquire a top-tier cornerback when they need one.

That is what makes this an intriguing landing spot for Peterson. Gilmore left via trade earlier in the season, and J.C. Jackson will be a premium free agent. Peterson likely won’t be viewed in the same price bracket as the likes of Jackson, but he is a very good defensive back who could serve as a No. 1 corner.

Could Peterson return to the Arizona Cardinals?

This has a little bit of a fairy tale feel to it after Peterson departed this past offseason. The Cardinals have evolved into a potential Super Bowl contender this year. Any Super Bowl contender can always look to add more talent at CB, and Peterson will be familiar with Arizona’s coaches and scheme.

Byron Murphy will be in the final year of his contract next season, and the Cardinals may not want Marco Wilson regularly starting again next year. Peterson would provide a veteran presence opposite Murphy and allow Wilson to float in a lesser role after the rookie has been exposed at times in 2021.

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