49ers

Should 49ers pursue signing Peterson in NFL free agency?

49ers

The Patrick Peterson era appears to be coming to a close in Arizona. 

Peterson, who is slated to be an unrestricted free agent, won't be back with the Cardinals next season, "barring a significant change," a source told FanSided's Matt Verderame. 

The 49ers have a long history with Peterson. He has faced off against the 49ers 20 times in his 10-year career. He hasn't recorded an interception against the Niners but does have an 11-9 winning record against San Francisco.

With Peterson reportedly set to find a new home, should the 49ers pursue the veteran cornerback? 

Peterson has been named an All-Pro three times and to the Pro Bowl eight times. The last time he was voted to the Pro Bowl was 2018 and he hasn't been an All-Pro since 2015. Simply put, you're not getting the 2015 version of Peterson next season. 

This past season, Peterson played all 16 games and recorded three interceptions. He also had eight passes defensed. His three interceptions would have led the 49ers, and he would have been second to cornerback Emmanuel Moseley (nine) in passes defensed. But advanced stats weren't kind to Peterson. 

Pro Football Focus gave Peterson a lowly 55.2 overall grade. PFF has Peterson as the 13th-best cornerback set to hit the open market. By comparison, PFF has Richard Sherman as the second-best corner who is slated for free agency, and Jason Verrett as the 12th. 

Sherman already has stated he doesn't expect to be back because of the 49ers' salary-cap constraints. Whether he's gone or not, the 49ers will have a big hole at the position this offseason. Virtually all of their corners, including Sherman, Verrett and Moseley, are set to become free agents next month. Which brings us back to Peterson. 

 
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In a sense, yes, Peterson fits a position of need for the 49ers. But it will all come down to what he's looking for contract wise and if the 49ers really think he can still be productive going forward. It might be wiser to prioritize bringing back Verrett and some of their own players like Moseley and K'Waun Williams than overspending on Peterson. 

This wouldn't be the worst move the 49ers could make, just know what version of Peterson you're likely getting.

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