SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Hours after the NFL officially announced Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson’s six-game suspension for violating the league’s performance-enhancing substance policy, the eight-time Pro Bowler stood on the red carpet at his foundation’s annual fundraiser and apologized and said he’s “deeply disappointed” for the situation that led to him missing the Cardinals’ first six games.
“Definitely, definitely sorry what broke out today … I think you guys understand my character and also understand my commitment on and off the field, and also to my teammates and also to the Arizona Cardinals organization,” Peterson said. “That’s why this is apparently very, very hard for me ’cause obviously I’ve never been in this situation before and I never wanted to have my name attached to anything like this.
“I’m looking to move forward and put this behind me. I want to thank my family, my teammates, the coaching staff, the Arizona Cardinals community and also the organization. And I’m looking forward to getting back Week 7. I’m going to continue to try to keep that smile on my face and get back to being the best DB in the league.”
Peterson gave a 139-word statement and then took questions. Reporters were threatened by his public relations team not to ask about the suspension and to keep questions on the charity event or risk the press availability ending. However, Peterson answered a variety of questions about his suspension and the timing of its announcement.
Peterson, who said he has known about the pending suspension for months, felt the timing of the news breaking Thursday morning, followed by the official announcement from the NFL a few hours later, was “horrible.”
The plan, Peterson said, was to make the announcement next week after his annual fundraiser.
“It is what it is,” Peterson said. “It was going to come out eventually, but definitely didn’t want it to come out here tonight or today.”
Peterson, however, said he felt “relieved” that the news is out so he can “put it behind me and I can move forward.”
Peterson said he talked with general manager Steve Keim and that his relationship with the Cardinals is “great.” However, Peterson hinted that he won’t be at any of the Cardinals’ voluntary organized team activities.
“Have to be a father,” Peterson said. “My wife’s a doctor. I’m the only one right now that can really take [my daughter] to school, so I have to take her to school each and every day and make sure she gets there secured and make sure she’s picked up.
“I’m still working out, doing my due diligence to make sure that I’m in shape come mandatory minicamp.”
Peterson was asked if he wanted to clarify anything about his six-game suspension.
“No, just a six-game suspension,” he said.