Patrick Peterson joined the Vikings for one main reason
Former Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson has embarked on a second act of his career, leaving the desert after 10 seasons, eight Pro Bowls and three First-Team All-Pro selections.
On St. Patrick’s Day, Patrick Peterson chose the Minnesota Vikings as the destination for this next chapter. The 31-year-old was off the Vikings’ radar for free agent possibilities – no one knew he had his eye on Minnesota. He will earn $ 8 million in 2021 for a one-year stint with the Vikings, a team hoping to bounce back from a poor 2020 season that ended with a 7-9 ranking. Peterson in high school should be an appropriate move to rectify the NFL’s fourth-worst defense in 2020.
Peterson chose the Vikings as his new home for one main reason: Mike Zimmer.
Around Thanksgiving last year, an article by GoLongTD.com detailed the alleged nasty parts of a locker room run by Mike Zimmer. The article traveled everywhere, calling Zimmer a stubborn coach whose prickly behavior irritated players. It was also a time for the Vikings when the season was at a “meh” point, so people were starving for anti-Zimmer ammo.
The 2020 season has ended and free agency has started. There you go, four Vikings players – count them – Stephen Weatherly, Mackensie Alexander, Sheldon Richardson and Everson Griffen have all returned to the Vikings after stoppages elsewhere.
Why on earth would a player want to return to a bubbling, unalterable and illiterate culture? Remove a single player – how about four players? Probably because the “people don’t want to play for him” fodder was wrong or grossly exaggerated.
Monday, Peter King of NBC Sports wrote about the Vikings in his weekly column and described how the Peterson-Vikings marriage came about. For Peterson, it was a question of finding Zimmer. Whoodathunkit?
King wrote of Peterson’s agent contacting the Vikings:
Spielman didn’t have a lot of money under the declining cap, and he never even called Agent Joel Segal about Peterson, after a bad 30-year-old season in Arizona. The general manager thought the price would be too high. Spielman was changing planes at the Atlanta airport en route to a Pro Day in March when his phone rang. It was Segal. “He said Patrick wanted to play for us and it wouldn’t cost as much as we thought,” Spielman told me. “I put Joël in touch with [Vikes cap man] Rob Brzezinski, and we made a deal in an hour, maybe an hour and a half. It’s one of the fastest free agent deals we’ve ever done. Joel just told us, ‘Zim, Zim, Zim. Pat wants to play for Mike Zimmer. ‘
And it’s pretty much like the ringing of an approval to be found applying to a head coach. Understandably, Peterson sees the potential of the Super Bowl playoffs in the Vikings, but that trickle-down involvement grew out of Zimmer’s leadership.
Now the team must go out and to reach those playoffs and beyond. General manager Rick Spielman has added defensive players this offseason as items in an Amazon basket, including acquiring Peterson, Dalvin Tomlinson, Sheldon Richardson, Bashaud Breeland and the aforementioned Griffen. Additionally, the return of Danielle Hunter, Michael Pierce and Anthony Barr – players who missed most of 2020 – establishes the team’s defensive roster as one closer to the Zimmer experience. Prior to 2020, Minnesota never fell outside the Top 11 points allowed during Zimmer’s reign. During the pandemic season, the Vikings ranked 29e.
Peterson also tends to start. A mystery arose when Spielman signed him with Breeland and Mackensie Alexander. There were plenty of bodies, most worthy of being considered by CB1 and CB2 on an NFL depth map. Recently, however, Jeff Gladney has been released and Cameron Dantzler’s stock has curiously dropped a bit. This prepares Peterson well for the good faith duty CB1 or CB2.