Veteran defensive lineman Domata Peko’s decision to sign with the Arizona Cardinals was all about winning a championship.
The 15th-year pro told media members on Friday that he turned down multiple offers earlier in the year, signing with the Cardinals on Nov. 23 because of the chance to win it all this year.
“I had a couple of other calls during the offseason here to join a couple of different teams but I was just waiting for the right call,” Peko said.
“Being in year 15, I want to go somewhere that has a chance to contend and a chance to hold up that trophy in February. So that was part of my biggest decision was that, making sure that I was going to a contender.”
Peko, who was drafted in the fourth round of the 2006 NFL Draft, is reunited with his former defensive backs coach and head coach, Vance Joseph, who’s in his second year as the Cardinals’ defensive coordinator.
He said that joining forces with Joseph, while being a positive factor, was not the only reason he came to Phoenix.
One of the motivators for Peko was the opportunity to play alongside his longtime teammate and friend in CB Johnathan Joseph, who was drafted by the Bengals the same year as Peko.
“It’s really good to reunite with my man Jay Joe, I’ve got nothing but respect for him. He’s a hell of a player and we’re good friends,” Peko said. “He and my family have gone to the Bahamas so we’re good friends. So it’s a blessing and to be together again is awesome.”
For now, Peko hopes to be a leader in the Cardinals’ locker room and amongst the team’s defensive line group.
He’s been impressed by the team’s youthful core at the position so far, with players coming up to him to learn as much as they can from a man who’s played in 209 NFL games.
“A lot of the guys are like sponges. They’re asking me ‘Hey Peko, how do you do this or how do you do that?’,” Peko said. “So I’m just trying to share my knowledge of the game with them because in the NFL everyone’s big, everyone’s strong and everyone’s fast, but it’s that mental game that separates people.
“So I just want to share some of my thoughts with them and some of my little techniques with them. But it’s been a blessing.”