Peterson on Tuesday night announced his own five-year contract extension via Twitter, reporting the deal to be worth $70 million, with $48 million guaranteed. The team announced the agreement shortly after Peterson’s tweet but did not confirm the terms, per club policy.
Peterson, 24, said on Sunday talks were ongoing between his agent and Cardinals management but that he was focused on football. Reports earlier Tuesday suggested the sides were close to a deal.
Peterson, the fifth overall pick in 2011 out of LSU, becomes the first player from his draft class to sign an extension. His rookie deal had two years remaining on it, and the extension will keep him in Arizona through the 2020 season.
Peterson was selected to the Pro Bowl as a cornerback the past two seasons and as a kick returner in 2011. He was just the second player in team history to be selected to the Pro Bowl in his first three seasons.
This year, Peterson will play cornerback almost exclusively, shedding punt return duties as well as the situational offensive work he participated in to give the Cardinals more speed last season.
“I think that’s just going to take my game to another level because now I don’t have to focus on punt returns and I don’t have to focus on trying to remember offensive plays,” Peterson said Sunday. “Now I can just hone in on playing defensive back and being the best player I can be.”
Peterson has recently been part on an ongoing discussion over who is the NFL’s best cornerback. The debate has primarily been between Peterson and Seattle’s Richard Sherman. After Sherman signed a four-year, $57 million extension in May, Peterson said he believed he deserved an even bigger deal.
Also in the debate, according to Peterson, are Cleveland’s Joe Haden and New England’s Darrelle Revis. Haden, a member of the 2010 draft calss, signed a five-year, $68 million extension in May. Revis signed a $12 million free-agent deal with the Patriots this offseason, with a $20 million option for the next season.
Whatever the numbers, Peterson believes he’s the league’s best, and his contract now reflects that belief. The argument, though, will surely continue.
“Do I feel I’m the best cornerback? Absolutely,” Peterson said. “That answer is never going to change, but at the end of the day that conversation is always going to come up.”