Peterson, Arians glad deal is done
July, 30, 2014
By Josh Weinfuss | ESPN.com
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- There wasn't much Patrick Peterson wasn't proud of Wednesday as he discussed his record-setting $70 million extension.
He was especially pleased with his ability to keep media in the dark on how close he and the Arizona Cardinals were to striking a deal.
"I'm definitely happy that this is over with. This is definitely a relief," Peterson said. "I kept a pretty [good] poker face with you guys the last couple weeks."
Peterson said the negotiations were on his mind as the Cardinals reported Friday for the start of training camp. It was hard for him to forget about it, however. Questions about an extension were constant whenever Peterson met with the media at camp but Peterson stuck to his message: He had two years left on his deal and if an extension didn't get done, so be it, he would still focus on football.
"That's exactly who he is," Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said. "We were working hard behind the scenes. He's a football player. He controls football. Let the business people control the business. You would never have noticed it was even an issue in the last three weeks."
That's how Peterson wanted it.
He was adamant about his looming extension becoming a focal point or a distraction in the locker room during camp. Arians was hoping a deal would get done before the regular season began, but if it didn't Arians would've marched on, answering the questions.
Peterson and his coach were relieved when a deal was struck.
"It obviously gets rid of a potential distraction media wise," Arians said. "Never been a distraction for Patrick on the field or us in the locker room."
During the past few weeks, significant progress was being made. But, reportedly, there were still significant holdups as recently as the past 48 hours. Both sides -- the Cardinals and Peterson's agents -- handled each "obstacle," as general manager Steve Keim called them, as it came. By Tuesday night, all the obstacles were taken care of, and a negotiation that began when the 2013 season ended was finished.
"As we got closer, I got more and more excited about it," Keim said.
When asked if he wanted to get the deal done before the season, Keim said there were peaks and valleys. Peterson told USA Today this week that if a deal wasn't done by Week 1, negotiations would have been tabled until after the season. He knew at the time that an extension was imminent but Peterson also had seen how long it took to get this far, so nothing was over until it was over.
"When you do a deal of this magnitude it takes some time," he added. "And there were always issues that we had to address but I know this: At the end of the day, both sides feel extremely excited about the deal."