The Cincinnati Bengals have a decision to make with their cornerback position this offseason. Are they going to re-sign Eli Apple, draft someone, or target a newcomer in free agency? If it's the third option on the list, perhaps Patrick Peterson could be an option for them.
Arjun Menon and Brad Spielberger think the Bengals would be the perfect fit for Peterson at this stage of his career.
"Peterson turned back the clock in 2022 and recorded one of the best years of his career, producing an 82.5 coverage grade, 66.8 passer rating when targeted and nine pass breakups. With Brian Flores’s heavy man coverage scheme coming to town, it’s likely that the 33-year-old Peterson won’t fit in their plans. Enter the Bengals, whose zone-heavy scheme would be similar to what he was running with the Vikings for most of his tenure there. He could complement Cam Taylor-Britt and form a nice trio with Mike Hilton rounding out the group. "- Arjun Menon and Brad Spielberger
Despite his lackluster 2021 campaign, Peterson looked darn good in 2022. Menon and Spielberger mentioned the numbers above and think he'd be an excellent fit in Cincinnati. They have him replacing Eli Apple in the secondary, and that's obviously assuming that Chidobe Awuzie isn't ready to rock and roll early in the season due to his injury.
Could Patrick Peterson make sense with the Bengals?
If the Bengals don't re-sign Apple and Awuzie isn't ready to play right away, they'll have Cam Taylor-Britt entering the second year of his career and Mike Hilton at the cornerback spot. Peterson could fill in for Apple, who is projected to earn a two-year deal worth $23 million with an annual salary of $11.6, according to Spotrac.
While Apple's trash-talking ways could lead to him staying in Cincinnati, he hasn't been bad by any stretch of the imagination. It wouldn't shock me if another team scooped him up and if they do, the Bengals will need to find a replacement. Peterson isn't getting any younger and might be looking to ring chase at this stage of his career.
If that's the case, what better place to go than Cincinnati? They'll be amongst the top five favorites to win the Super Bowl next season and Peterson could be a major contributor with them.