The 2019 NFL trade deadline is fast approaching, and with so many division races still up for grabs and future playoff spots still in sight, there figures to be no shortage of activity leading up to and during the Tuesday after Week 8.
Here's a rundown of why Peterson has tons of value, why the Cardinals could end up shopping him, who's most likely to land him and what he'd cost:
Why is he worth trading for?
If you're familiar with the name Patrick Peterson, then it's probably already apparent. The former fifth overall pick will turn 30 in 2020, he's due more than $20 million from now through that season, and he just recently came off a six-game suspension. But he's also one of the most established corners in the game, and there aren't many signs of decline. An eight-time Pro Bowler and three-time All-Pro, he may not be as freakishly athletic as he was early in his career, but he's consistently funneled opposing teams' targets away from his side of the field in recent years. If you're looking for a model of durability and proven play-making in the secondary, he's it.
Why would he be traded?
The Cardinals have publicly refuted the notion they're even considering parting ways with Peterson, but behind the scenes, they can't be denying the possibility. Arizona is on a winning streak, but even if it extends, the Cards have little chance of catching the San Francisco 49ers or Seattle Seahawks in the NFC West. With a first-year coach and quarterback combo, their eyes will eventually turn toward building around Kyler Murray. And no one would bring them a better haul than Peterson, who could ultimately be due for age/injury regression and whose departure would save them $13 million in 2020.
Where could he end up?
Three teams come to mind as the most likely potential destinations:
Kansas City Chiefs: K.C. has been sniffing around the secondary market for a long time, and while the Chiefs reportedly backed away from the pursuit of Peterson earlier this season, we're pretty sure they'd reconsider if the Cardinals were to keep their lines open for business. Even though their defense looked strong against the Denver Broncos recently, this is a team that knows it must get better at the back end if it truly wants to compete with the New England Patriots for a Super Bowl.
New Orleans Saints: A year after trading multiple draft picks for Eli Apple, the Saints smell exactly like the kind of franchise that would pull the trigger on a blockbuster to bolster their title chances. Apple's status remains up in the air due to an apparent injury suffered in Week 7, and he's also due to become a free agent after the season. New Orleans has not only survived but thrived during Drew Brees' absence, but once he returns, they'll be looking to do everything in their power to give him one last serious go at a trophy.
Philadelphia Eagles: The Eagles need promising long-term talent more than anything right now, but general manager Howie Roseman would probably be willing to make an exception on a soon-to-be 30-year-old with Peterson. Philly just got Jalen Mills back and may get a few more reinforcements later, but that doesn't change the fact their defense is mostly devoid of play-makers. It would take more compensation than they should be mortgaging right now, but Roseman has never been averse to a bold move. Earlier, CBS Sports writer Jeff Kerr broke down why and what the trade terms could look like.
What would he cost?
The Oakland Raiders just got a third-rounder for Gareon Conley, who, in case you weren't aware, is no Peterson. Jalen Ramsey is a more apt comparison even though he's quite a bit younger, going for two firsts and a fourth. It's not as if Peterson's 2020 salary is ridiculously off the charts, either. And Arizona probably doesn't want to send one of its top two most beloved players packing right after a three-game win streak -- unless the front office gets an offer it cannot refuse.
Projected cost: 2020 first-round pick, 2020 fifth-round pick