The speculation regarding where Patrick Peterson will play in 2021 is over, and not just as it relates to what team. The future Hall of Fame defensive back has officially put the Arizona Cardinals in his rear view mirror and taken his talents to the Minnesota Vikings on a one-year, $8 million deal, but that didn't answer the question of what position he'd play this coming season. There were rumors the 30-year-old had informed clubs in free agency of his willingness to potentially move from cornerback to safety, but he's instead going to stick with the position that earned him the fifth-overall pick in 2011 and eight Pro Bowl nods along with three First-Team All Pro honors.
"I feel that I still have a good position as far as being in position to make plays at the cornerback position, so I know I can still play at a high level,'' Peterson said, via Chris Tomasson of The Pioneer Press. "So my position will be cornerback for sure.''
And with that declaration, Peterson can no longer be looked upon as the possible replacement for the loss of safety Anthony Harris -- who recently departed to join the Philadelphia Eagles on a one-year deal worth $5 million. He's now the replacement/upgrade for Xavier Rhodes, the once dominant three-time Pro Bowler in Minnesota who suffered a major downturn before ultimately being released in 2020 and signing with the Indianapolis Colts, where he remains on another one-year deal this year.
Landing Peterson was quite the coup for the Vikings, who hadn't often been mentioned in the handful of potential suitors in the race for his services. One player has an idea as to why Minnesota felt the need to snatch up Peterson, though, and that's former Green Bay Packers safety LeRoy Butler.
"I think the reason why they signed him was for Davante Adams," Butler said. "They had the babies, the two young corners [Cameron Dantzler and Jeff Gladney]. Now, you play [Green Bay)]two times a year, and they can put a guy on [Adams] to follow him all over the place, and feel good about it."
That said, Butler still believes Peterson might make the move to safety at some point down the road. And, knowing quite a bit about the position himself -- a four-time Pro Bowler and four-time First-Team All-Pro who now sits in the Packers Hall of Fame -- Butler thinks Peterson would excel in that role.
"He could go the Deion Sanders and Charles Woodson route," said Butler. "You could always move him to safety if they want to keep the babies out on the corner. He could play the safety spot with Anthony Harris gone, and I think he'd be a fantastic safety. And if you want to put him on Davante sometimes, you can do that, too."
Peterson and the Vikings will pass on that in 2021, but who knows what the future holds. It's not as if he hasn't already at least considered it -- allegedly, that is -- but his focus for Year 10 is the same as it was in Year 1.