In 2006 Julian Peterson was anything and everything one could hope from a free agent linebacker. He provided bottled pass rush, was solid in run support, and though he wasn't asked to work in coverage much, he was very good when he was. This season Peterson has had, statistically speaking, a near across the board better showing. But on a deeper, considerably better defense, he hasn't stood out. That shouldn't be mistaken for a decline. Peterson is essentially the same player he was last season, can and does still line up at RDE, is a beast on the edge rush, quick to the ball carrier, and fast enough to run with the best tight ends.
Peterson will turn 30 before next season. That's the age most linebackers begin to decline. Mr. Muscly Arm has a pretty decent shot at defying that trend. His one major injury was a fluke. He's a workout demon and a rare athlete. He might not match his current contributions as a pass rusher, but that's a pretty minor complaint. Last season, he was Seattle's pass rush. This season he's recorded perhaps the quietest 10 sack, 4 FF, 2 INT performance in recent memory. He's a more complete linebacker than DeMarcus Ware, and given his contributions in pass defense, likely a more valuable linebacker than him, too. That's okay, though, he might not be the superstar he'd be in a major market, he might be ignored at times by his fans, but he's a pretty damn special player, and all things considered, it's likely that we will be able to take him for granted for another 3 years.