Steelers to Sign Ex-1st-Round Cornerback Hours After Pitching Bengals: Report

Patrick Peterson Rumors

Getty Patrick Peterson has agreed to terms with the Steelers.

Update: Cornerback Patrick Peterson’s deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers is worth $14 million with $5.85 million guaranteed, per NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.

One cornerback out, another cornerback in. On Monday, March 13, moments after news broke that veteran corner Cam Sutton was heading north to the Detroit Lions, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the Pittsburgh Steelers are expected to sign former Arizona Cardinals and Minnesota Vikings corner Patrick Peterson via free agency. Free agency officially begins on Wednesday, March 15.

According to a tweet from Schefter, it will be a two-year deal. The terms of the agreement have not been disclosed. “My durability has always been there,” Peterson said on the March 13 episode of the Adam Schefter Podcast. “I know I can play two strong more seasons, and after that, it’ll kind of be up in the air.”

Interestingly enough, on that same podcast just earlier that morning, Peterson shared a few teams he’d like to suit up for — none of which were the Steelers.

In fact, one is a Steelers archrival.

“I really like what the Bengals have,” Peterson said. “They have a quarterback, they have a great establishment on the offensive side of the ball. I know Eli Apple is going to be an impending free agent coming up. I feel like I can come in there and help those guys,” said Peterson. “You’re going to need some quality cover guys that can kind of keep those guys in check.”

The two other teams Peterson named were the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles.

Nope. Still not the Steelers.

When Schefter reported the news on ESPN’s NFL Live, it came as a surprise. “He talked about the idea that he liked Cincinnati,” he said. “He liked the idea of playing with the Bengals with Joe Burrow who went to LSU, JaMarr Chase who went to LSU, he went to LSU. And then, not only did he not go to Cincinnati, he went in division, playing twice a year against Cincinnati.

Where Patrick Peterson Fits in with Steelers Defense

Instead, Patrick Peterson, 32, settled for the Pittsburgh Steelers, who suddenly had a hole to fill when they lost Cam Sutton in the early hours of the legal tampering period.

Peterson spent a decorated decade in the desert with the Arizona Cardinals. The three-time All-Pro and eight-time Pro Bowler racked up 28 interceptions, 91 passes defended and 499 total tackles (10 for loss). One of his interceptions, a 43-yard pick-six, was a thing of beauty. He tipped the ball to himself and took off for the endzone. He added two forced fumbles, 12 fumble recoveries, 4.0 sacks and four quarterback hits to his impressive statline.

But all good things must come to an end. After 10 years, Peterson headed to the Vikings where he enjoyed a bit of a career revival in their zone-heavy scheme.

In two seasons with Minnesota, Peterson logged six interceptions, one for a 66-yard pick-six, 20 passes defended and 111 total tackles (five for loss). His five interceptions in 2022 were tied for second in the NFL.

The Steelers play a combination of both zone and man, which should bode well for Peterson. It’s possible Mike Tomlin and company want Peterson to play a role akin to what he did in Minnesota. At this point in his career, it makes sense to utilize him primarily in zone packages, back off the line with eyes on the prize — the QB, of course — waiting to snatch the ball out of the air.

An executive told Heavy’s NFL Insider Matt Lombardo, “The Patrick Peterson deal should work out for the Steelers, as long as the deal is low and he can move to safety.”

According to Spotrac, Peterson’s market value is an estimated $6.4 million per year, which means he could ink a deal worth $12.8 million over two years.

Patrick Peterson Would ‘Love to Rock’ Ben Roethlisberger’s No. 7

Hopefully Patrick Peterson’s agreement to sign with the Pittsburgh Steelers wasn’t contingent on wearing his preferred jersey number.

According to ESPN’s Brooke Pryor, Peterson would “love to rock No. 7,” the number worn famously by quarterback Ben Roethlisberger — one that could be retired one day.

As Pryor pointed out, Mason Rudolph’s No. 2 is currently open. The unrestricted free-agent quarterback remains unsigned.