GLENDALE, Ariz. - The debate over who is the best cornerback in the NFL may never end. But there is no debate over who is the highest paid at the position.
That would be Patrick Peterson after he and the Arizona Cardinals announced an agreement had been reached on a new five-year extension reported to be worth $70 million, with $48 million guaranteed.
"Patrick has earned this," team president Michael Bidwill said during a press conference on Wednesday. "We couldn't be more pleased to make Patrick the highest paid player at his position. We think he's earned it, and I agree, he's the best defensive corner in the league."
"Stamped by Mr. Bidwill," Peterson added with a smile.
Again, the discussion over who is better -- Peterson, Seattle's Richard Sherman or Cleveland's Joe Haden -- will only continue, but Peterson's $48 million in guaranteed money exceeds what Sherman ($40 million) and Haden ($45 million) received in deals earlier in the off-season.
"It's a big deal," Peterson said. "I think I have done a lot in my career, in my young career, to be recognized as the best, not only the best cornerback in the league, but being recognized as the highest paid cornerback in the league. I think my body of work is only going to get better.
"But it was definitely very important for me to be because I always had visions that I always wanted to be the highest paid cornerback to ever play the game. And now that I am, it feels so surreal."
Peterson, 24, has started all 48 games he's played during his first three seasons, each of which ended with him being selected to the Pro Bowl, twice as a cornerback (2012-13) and once as a kick returner (2011).
He becomes the first player of the 2011 first-round draft class to agree to a contract extension, which now keeps Peterson, who was selected No. 5, in a Cardinals uniform through 2020.
"I have bigger goals than a massive contract," he said. "I want to bring a championship to this city, to this organization, to the community. I want to be here to hoist that Lombardi Trophy. I don't know when it's going to be. It can be this year, next year, five years from now, whenever the case may be.
"It's definitely a joy to know that I'm going to be here for a much longer time and to watch this thing unfold."