Marcus Spears breaks down former Packers linebacker Za’Darius Smith signing with the Vikings. (0:53)
“I’m gonna stay put in Minnesota and run it back with the guys. Keep it in the North,” he said, while donning a Vikings cap.
He said other teams his agent was talking to included the Buffalo Bills, Chicago Bears, Indianapolis Colts, Washington Commanders and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He said Tampa Bay’s interest was dependent on whether they re-signed Carlton Davis, which they ultimately did.
He said the addition of new head coach Kevin O’Connell and his pick for defensive coordinator, Ed Donatell, has him excited to return.
“I just felt it was right just to be there and grind with those guys and try to all come together for that common goal. The team is stacked,” he said. “Like I always talked about last year, we just didn’t put it together in certain situations but we got even better, I believe, this year in the offseason by adding a great offensive mind in Kevin, adding pass rusher (Za’Darius Smith) to help Danielle [Hunter], with Ed coming from his defensive background … these guys are definitely trying to put the pieces into place and now it’s just on us, the coaching staff and the players, to go out and executive and put together the best game plan possible to get some dubs.”
He said he would like to play three more seasons, including the 2022 season.
“I feel great, it just all depends on what the body feels,” he said.
After 10 seasons with the Arizona Cardinals where he earned three All-Pro honors and was named to eight consecutive Pro Bowls, Peterson signed a one-year prove-it deal with the Vikings in 2021.
Peterson, 31, brought a wealth of experience to the Vikings secondary as he transitioned into a role that did not rely on him shadowing opponents’ top receivers the way he had throughout the prime of his career in Arizona. While in Minnesota, Peterson played an important role in helping develop young cornerbacks like Cameron Dantzler, Kris Boyd and Harrison Hand.
Peterson still excelled as a run defender and might opt to explore a move to safety at this point of his career, a move he discussed at the tail end of the 2020 season while still with the Cardinals.
The cornerback walked away from the 2021 season with a pick-six in the Vikings’ Week 18 finale against the Chicago Bears to extend a streak of recording an interception in all 11 seasons he has played in the NFL. He appeared in 13 games for the Vikings after a hamstring injury forced him onto injured reserve from Weeks 7-10 and a COVID-19 diagnosis caused him to miss a Week 13 loss at Detroit.
Peterson said his goal is to play 15 seasons before considering retirement, which could feature a move into broadcasting. His podcast that he co-hosts with Bryant McFadden, his cousin and a seven-year NFL vet, is a weekly obligation for the cornerback.
The Cardinals selected Peterson fifth overall in the 2011 draft. He has 29 interceptions in his 11 NFL seasons.
ESPN’s Courtney Cronin contributed to this report.