Patrick Peterson Gives Verdict on Playing for Vikings in 2022
The budding consensus for the Minnesota Vikings in the 2022 NFL Draft is the necessity for a cornerback in the 1st Round. While that could still occur, the franchise might be deeper at cornerback for the 2022 depth than folks believed a week ago.
Patrick Peterson signed with the Vikings in 2021 — out of nowhere on St. Patrick’s Day — starting the second chapter of his career with the allure of a Mike Zimmer-led defense. He performed well, grading a 63.0 score from Pro Football Focus and served as the only reliable Vikings corner throughout the season, although Peterson missed about a month due to injury. Cameron Dantzler spent the early part of 2021 locked in Zimmer’s doghouse, Bashaud Breeland was mostly bad and controversial, and Mackensie Alexander struggled, too.
As the 2022 offseason hit, it was unclear if Peterson would re-sign with Minnesota, particularly because Zimmer was fired on January 10th. Dantzler seemed like the only viable starting cornerback under contract for the 2022 season.
Well, the pathway to a Peterson sequel was laid on Friday. Luke Braun from Zone Coverage caught up with Peterson, asking him about his desire to return to Minnesota in 2022. Peterson replied a simple yes on wanting to return.
Peterson’s reassurance about wanting to play again for the Vikings is significant because it indicates the need for another cornerback isn’t an urgent, guttural matter. Indeed, new general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah will likely sign another startable corner in free agency or draft one in April, but the exigency is lessened. The 2022 defense would not be pitiful with Dantzler and Peterson as CB1 and CB2.
On the Vikings presumed radar for the draft if they still pursue a 1st-Round cornerback are Ahmad Gardner (Cincinnati), Derek Stingley Jr. (LSU), and Andrew Booth Jr. (Clemson) with the 12th overall pick. Via free agency, men like J.C. Jackson from the New England Patriots will be available.
But a Peterson-Dantzler combination ensures Minnesota could fill out a depth chart with other corners, allowing a rookie time to develop. Additionally, Harrison Hand and Kris Boyd will be on the depth chart if they survive roster cuts at the end of summer.
Regardless of the names on the CB section of the depth chart, Minnesota will be led by brand new leadership. Kevin O’Connell will be formally named head coach early next week, and he’s reportedly already adding veteran defensive coordinator Ed Donatell to his staff. The presumptive Donatell hire should drag the Vikings defense back to respectability.
The last two years were rough defensively as the Vikings always melted down at the end of halves.
Peterson will be 32 in July and has been selected to eight Pro Bowls and three 1st-Team All-Pro teams during his 11-season career.
Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).
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