The New England Patriots are known for signing seasoned players who may have seen their prime in the free agency market. But the Patriots should probably avoid this particular veteran.
According to Bleacher’s Report’s Alex Kay, the Patriots will have to tackle their cornerback strength after (likely) re-signing elite corner JC Jackson on a massive deal. However, they shouldn’t aim at signing 31-year-old Patrick Peterson, a former three-time all-pro selection player and eight-time cornerback.
“The New England Patriots have done remarkably well in the cornerback position over the past few years, but the team could be lacking in talent if they don’t do free agency pros this off-season,” says Kay. “After Stephon Gilmore’s mid-season deal and with JC Jackson, who has a massive contract as arguably the best cornerback set on the open market, New England will have to replenish its defensive back cabinet sooner than later.
While there will be a handful of high-end nooks looking for new deals, the pats should avoid looking for one whose best days are far behind. Patrick Peterson has just signed a one-year contract with the Vikings with mediocre results.
The 31-year-old has failed to return to his all-pro form after an overwhelming end to the decade he spent with the Cardinals and doesn’t seem to have much left in the tank.
Peterson had career lows in interceptions (one), solo tackles (34) and pass defenses (five) during his only year in Minnesota.
While Peterson won’t have a thick contract, it would be better for the Patriots to identify some younger players with more athleticism and advantage that they could install in their secondary school.
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The Patriots have targeted well-known players who have exceeded their prime – or have been perceived as past their prime – in an attempt to maximize the remaining value that they still have. New England succeeded with this tactic mainly through the takeover of Randy Moss. They also had moderate success, signing players like Junior Seau and taking over those players towards the end of their careers. However, they also had some major failures with players like Chad Johnson and Albert Haynesworth.
The point is, the Patriots like to play with older veterans – especially when they are in potential ring hunting mode.
As Kay notes, Peterson will not have a big deal as cornerback who will turn 32 next season. The former all-pro cornerback signed a one-year $ 8 million deal with the Minnesota Vikings after a successful career with the Arizona Cardinals in the off-season. However, his game was far from outstanding.
Peterson’s defensive score of 63.0 ranks 64th out of 120 qualifying cornerbacks in the NFL, according to Pro Football Focus. To make matters worse, its coverage ratio of 61.0 is 72nd out of 122 qualifying corners in the league.
Peterson hasn’t been an above-average cornerback for at least 2018 as his decline has been in the game for at least a few years. According to the PFF, he got a defense score of 68.6 (41st in the league) in 2019 and a coverage score of 55.2 (83rd in the league) last season.
While the Patriots could try to improve on the pedestrian game of the other starting corner Jalen Mills (67.5 Defensive Class) and Myles Bryant (60.7 Defensive Class), New England should probably avoid replacing both with Peterson.