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Adding J.J. Watt might cost Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson

Jan 3, 2021; Inglewood, California, USA; Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson (21) reacts in the third quarter against the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium. The Rams defeated the Cardinals 18-7. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 3, 2021; Inglewood, California, USA; Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson (21) reacts in the third quarter against the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium. The Rams defeated the Cardinals 18-7. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

At $15.5 million per year for J.J. Watt, the Arizona Cardinals welcomed one reputable defender at the risk of losing another.

Patrick Peterson, 30, is headed for unrestricted free agency, and the former first-round pick expects to find stronger interest from suitors outside of Arizona. That’s because the Cardinals were left with just under $14 million in salary cap space entering the new league year.

“I know that I will be playing football for someone, if it’s the Cardinals or someone else,” Peterson said in a USA Today Sports interview. “I’m a go-with-the-flow-type guy. That’s out of my control. I’ve done everything I can do to show my worth, and I can still play this game. I know I will be playing football for somebody, so that’s my approach.”

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Peterson denied a report he has already agreed to part ways with the team. Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill said he is hopeful the team can retain Peterson.

However, there is growing sentiment the Cardinals are chasing a No. 1-type receiver to pair with DeAndre Hopkins, which would leave Arizona with precious little cash to offer Peterson.

Peterson played out a five-year, $70.05 million deal that expired at the end of the 2020 season knowing this offseason could be a crossroads in his career. He openly applauded the Watt signing, even knowing the trickle down might mean relocation.

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“When you have a guy like that on the market, you have to put it all on the line to risk it and put players on the roster to give you a good chance to win the championship,” he said. “They made a big splash, and we all know if you’re able to get to the quarterback effectively, you have a good opportunity to win.”

–Field Level Media

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