USA Today

The Minnesota Vikings made a couple of big additions in free agency on the defensive side of the ball, but the one that really sticks out is cornerback Patrick Peterson. While he may be set to turn 31 in July, Peterson is a three-time All-Pro defensive back who has been one of the best in the game for the last decade, and could be the playmaker who gives this defense the jolt it needs.

During a recent taping of the "All Things Covered" podcast with Peterson and Bryant McFadden, Peterson said that he's already feeling the benefits from this change of scenery as the Vikings prepare for the 2021 season, and that he's starting to feel like himself again. 

"I feel great man, I feel like I'm finally able to do what I do," said Peterson. "I believe this coaching staff is allowing me to be Pat P. Allowing me to -- let me do what got me to the All-Decade team, to eight straight Pro Bowls, top five draft pick -- all of that. Them just allowing me to do what I do is just a blessing because that's when I'm most comfortable in my game when you allow me just to be me. I understand coaches are allowed to coach, but at a certain point you gotta let your players be players at the same time. You can't overcoach a player."

Peterson recorded 61 combined tackles, eight passes defensed and three picks during his last season with the Arizona Cardinals, but it did feel like his time with the franchise was coming to an end. In Minnesota, Peterson says he feels appreciated again.  

"Nothing against Arizona, I been here for 10 years, I get that," said Peterson. "(There's) nothing like going somewhere where you are appreciated and not tolerated. And here's my point: I been here for 10 years, everybody know Pat P going to come up with the work, I'm going to do my thing. But it was almost like I was tolerated there, vs. being in Minnesota -- I'm appreciated."

Peterson mentioned he's talking about the guys not wearing a jersey when it comes to the appreciation he felt or did not feel, but either way this signing has rejuvenated the veteran, and he feels like he could help this franchise turn the corner.  

"I feel motivated," said Peterson. "I feel like I can really come in here and help this team turn the corner. I feel like I'm the missing piece. That's the chip on my shoulder right now."