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Patrick Peterson won't return punts, play WR in 2014

The Cardinals are losing a dangerous playmaker on offense and punt returns.

Patrick Peterson will no longer field punts or line up wide, the star cornerback revealed Sunday, per the team's official website.

Peterson said the move will allow him to focus on becoming an even better cover corner. He'll remain on call to return punts in a reserve capacity. 

"My duties are now done," Peterson said. "But I am completely OK with it. ... It's just a different task being able to now focus on (just) playing cornerback as opposed to trying (to) study all three phases."

The 24-year-old was electric as a punt returner during his rookie campaign, taking back a whopping four to the house. That year he averaged an impressive 15.9 yard average on returns. However, his numbers dipped to 8.4 in 2012 and then 6.0 in 2013.

Peterson hasn't played a whole lot of receiver during his three-year NFL career, but he has dabbled, a la Deion Sanders and Champ Bailey (his six catches in 2013 are a career high). Coach Bruce Arians said his role on offense was due to a lack of straight-line speed, something that's been addressed with the additions of Ted Ginn and rookie John Brown

It's a smart move by Bruce Arians and Co. -- it's simply too risky to expose Peterson to extra hits on offense and special teams.

He's an elite player and a stout Cardinals defense badly needs him if they are going to compete in the best division in football.

The latest "Around The League Podcast" offers up team-by-team training camp previews of the NFC East and NFC West.

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