According to azcentral.com, the Red Birds plan to discuss a contract extension for All-Pro cornerback Patrick Peterson this off-season, but they are under no time constraints to reach an agreement.
The team plans to exercise an option before then to keep Peterson under contract through 2015, a provision in the collective bargaining agreement that will benefit clubs as they seek to retain players from the 2011 draft. The deadline for using that option is May 3.
That 2011 draft class, the first under the current CBA, came into the NFL under a new set of contract rules. First-round picks, such as Peterson, were required to sign four-year deals that included a club option for a fifth-year.
Top ten picks, again such as Peterson (5th overall), receive a salary worth the average of the 10 highest paid players at their position this season. In Peterson's case, that is $10 million.
Arizona's decision to pick up the option was expected, because it allows the Cards to keep an elite player under contract and gives the team leverage in negotiations for an extension.
It's the smart move to make.
With two years remaining on his rookie deal, and the threat of a franchise tag, the Red Birds could retain Peterson's rights through 2016.
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