Are the Eagles Interested in Patrick Peterson?

NFL: JAN 09 Bears at Vikings
MINNEAPOLIS, MN – JANUARY 09: Minnesota Vikings Cornerback Patrick Peterson (7) returns an interception thrown by Chicago Bears Quarterback Andy Dalton (14) 66-yards for a touchdown during a game between the Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Bears on January 9, 2022, at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, MN.(Photo by Nick Wosika/Icon Sportswire)

The Philadelphia Eagles are in need of help at their number two cornerback spot, opposite Darius Slay, and may have found their man.

Steven Nelson, who manned the position this past season, has hit free agency after his one-year deal expired. Per Pro Football Reference, Nelson gave up 48 catches on 72 targets (66.7%) a season ago. Nelson allowed a 108.4 passer rating when targeted.

Outside of Slay, the Eagles cornerback room consists of starting nickel Avonte Maddox, former 4th round pick Zech McPhearson, former 6th round pick Tay Gowan, 2020 4th round pick Josiah Scott, UDFA Kary Vincent Jr., and Mac McCain III.

The Eagles will certainly have their pick of the litter for potential options at the number two cornerback spot. One of whom appeared on NFL Network and discussed his options.

Patrick Peterson, 31, joined the Minnesota Vikings last season after 10 seasons with the Arizona Cardinals. In 13 games, Peterson allowed the lowest passer rating of his career, 78.7. He was targeted in coverage 76 times and gave up 43 completions (56.6%). Peterson would be right at home in Jonathan Gannon‘s zone-heavy system.

Jonathan Gannon has experience working with a former Vikings veteran corner. Xavier Rhodes played under the Eagles defensive coordinator from 2014-17. Rhodes earned Pro Bowl honors in 2016.

After Gannon took the defensive backs coach role with the Indianapolis Colts, Rhodes was released in March 2020 after seven years in Minnesota. Rhodes then signed with the Indianapolis Colts, where Gannon was and ranked as the 7th best coverage defender in the league. Per Next Gen Stats, Rhodes allowed a 64.4 passer rating when targeted. This was because of Indianapolis’ heavy use of off-ball cover 2 coverage.

Peterson has had success playing in a zone-heavy scheme. The Eagles played one of the highest rates of zone coverage in Gannon’s first season as defensive coordinator.

Philadelphia has history with Peterson as well. Former Eagles President Joe Banner revealed in 2019 that the Eagles almost acquired Peterson in a trade during the lockout-shortened year, 2011.

Peterson would be a fine one-year stopgap corner who would give Philadelphia time to re-assess the position. He’d provide a veteran presence opposite Darius Slay, who seemingly would approve of the acquisition.