Cardinals' Patrick Peterson should not have been allowed on NFL All-Decade Team, site says

Jeremy Cluff
Arizona Republic
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Three Arizona Cardinals players were named to the NFL's All-Decade Team earlier this week.

According to one site, it should have only been two.

Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio published a story Tuesday saying that Peterson, a cornerback on the Cardinals, should have been excluded from the team because of his PED suspension.

The fifth overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, Peterson has played his entire nine-year career (2011-19) in Arizona and has started all 138 games played during that span.

A three-time first-team All-Pro selection, Peterson joined Hall of Famers Jim Brown and Barry Sanders as the only players in NFL history to be chosen to eight Pro Bowls before their 29th birthday.

A five-time team captain, Peterson has totaled 426 tackles, 25 INTs (one returned for a TD), 107 passes defensed, nine tackles for loss, 4.0 sacks, two forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries in his career.

MORE:NFL All-Decade Team: Cardinals' Larry Fitzgerald, Chandler Jones, Patrick Peterson on team

But he was suspended for six games at the beginning of the 2019 season for violating the league's PED policy, something that didn't sit well with Florio.

Florio wrote: "Peterson’s violation should have caused the voters (the Hall of Fame selectors) to take a dimmer view of his achievements. The fact that he used both a PED and a masking agent suggests that it wasn’t the first time he cheated and then tried to cover up the cheating. It’s possible, if not likely, that he had been successfully covering up PED use until the testing caught up with the masking agent and exposed the ruse.

"Was it two years? Three years? His entire career? Should Peterson get the benefit of the doubt? Arguably, he shouldn’t. Arguably, the all-decade honor should have gone to someone who hasn’t cheated and then tried to cover up the cheating.

"It’s just another example of the reaction from most fans and media to football players who use PEDs. Most people have come to accept it as part of the effort to recover from the weekly grind or otherwise compete in a sport premised on physical violence. Regardless, the players who don’t use PEDs should be upset that others with a track record of cheating and then trying to cover up the cheating receive awards for performances that, at a minimum, fall under a thick cloud of suspicion."

Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson.

Peterson was eligible for the award because an NFL provision that bars players who violated the league's PED policy form league awards applies only to the year in which the suspension is imposed and doesn't keep a player from earning awards covering multiple seasons, like the All-Decade Team award.

Peterson was not eligible to make the Pro Bowl last season because of his suspension. He had been a Pro Bowl selection in each of his previous eight seasons.

MORE: Patrick Peterson tells NFL analyst that Arizona Cardinals will make Super Bowl

Pro Football Talk's article on Peterson received some strong reaction on the radio, social media and the comments section of the story because of the way it singled out Peterson and his PED suspension.

Other players on the All-Decade Team have also been suspended or had off-the-field issues, but the story didn't say that they should be excluded from the team.

Richard Sherman was once suspended for using Adderall when he was with the Seattle Seahawks, but won an appeal against the league and had his suspension overturned.

In November of 2014, Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson pleaded no contest to misdemeanor reckless assault on what the league called "an incident of abusive discipline" toward his 4-year-old son and was suspended for the remainder of the season.

Former Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown, who is reportedly attempting another comeback to the NFL, could face discipline from the league should he get another opportunity in the league.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady was suspended for four games in 2015 for his role in "Deflategate."

Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller also served a six-game suspension for violating the league's PED policy in 2013.

Wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald and linebacker Chandler Jones were the other Cardinals players who made the NFL's All-Decade Team.

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