Kliff Kingsbury is clearing the air of speculation that Patrick Peterson could be leaving Arizona.
Peterson, the Cardinals’ star defensive back, missed the team’s minicamp on Tuesday, and rumors that he might be traded soon emerged. But Kingsbury emphasized the workout was voluntary to reporters, saying his communications with Peterson indicated he wants to play for Arizona in 2019-20.
About Patrick Peterson, Kliff Kingsbury noted that this mini-camp is voluntary, and said that the star CB has been in communication with him, and has made clear to the head coach that he wants to be a Cardinal and Kingsbury expects him to be one in ‘19.
— Omar Ruiz (@OmarDRuiz) April 23, 2019
Peterson reportedly asked the Cardinals for a trade in October, but he later said he felt like he was “next in line” to be the cornerstone of Arizona’s franchise, like wideout Larry Fitzgerald.
Peterson 28, has been a Pro Bowl player in all eight of his years in the NFL since Arizona selected him as the No. 5 overall pick in the 2011 draft. The Cardinals posted the NFL’s worst record (3-13) in 2018-19 but he still helped anchor a defense that was fourth best against the pass. Peterson recorded 54 tackles and two interceptions on the year.
Arizona has the first pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, and its selection could turn the team around. It could shore up its defense by selecting top pass rushing prospect Nick Bosa from Ohio State, but it is rumored to favor Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray.
However, the Cardinals don’t appear to know who they will select.
“We’re still working through things. It is a process. I wouldn’t say the hay is in the barn,” Kingsbury told NFL Network.
Regardless, Arizona has a few things to figure out before the 2019-20 season.