Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson will be suspended the first six games of the 2019 NFL season after violating the league's performance-enhancing drug policy, reports ESPN's Adam Schefter, adding that Peterson has dropped his appeal. The six-game suspension will cost Peterson $3.8 million.
The suspension was made official Thursday afternoon.
"Patrick recognizes how disappointing this is for everyone in the organization as well as our fans," the Cardinals said in a statement. "As we all do, he understands that regardless of intent he is ultimately responsible for everything he puts in his body. Our coaching staff and our players are now aware that we will have to play the first six games without Patrick and they understand they have to rise to the challenge that it presents."
ESPN's Dan Graziano notes that most suspensions for performance-enhancing drugs carry a four-game ban but Peterson will miss six games.
Graziano adds in a subsequent tweet: "Another reason a first-time PED offender could be suspended six games instead of four would be a 'non-analytical positive,' meaning a finding of a PED violation through means other than a drug test."
The eight-time Pro Bowler was mentioned as a trade target bothand during .
CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora reported last October that Peterson was unhappy with the "state of the franchise" in Arizona and that he's asked the team to deal him before the NFL's trade deadline on Oct. 30. The report from La Canfora came on the heels of a report he made weeks before when he wrote that Cardinals would be open to the possibility of discussing a potential trade for Peterson.
Nothing materialized at the time, or in recent months, and Peterson is still a member of the Cardinals though it hasn't all been smooth sailing. He didn't take part in voluntary workouts earlier this spring because he was reportedly unhappy with the team. First-year coach Kliff Kingsbury sounded unconcerned.
"It's voluntary," Kingsbury said last month, via ESPN.com. "I communicated with Patrick. We know where he's at and we know what's going on. Kind of a conversation to keep between ourselves. If he hadn't communicated and we didn't know what was going on, I think that would be a different matter. It is a voluntary camp. We know that Patrick wants to be here and wants to be a part of this team."
The No. 5 pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, Peterson remains one of the best players in the league even as Arizona slipped to 3-13 last season. According to Pro Football Focus, he ranked fifth among all cornerbacks in 2018.
The Cardinals signed former Falcons cornerback Robert Alford during free agency and drafted University of Washington cornerback Byron Murphy with the first pick in the second round of the draft, and now both players will have much bigger roles on a defense that ranked 17th overall last season, according to Football Outsiders.