Steelers make a splash in name only by signing aging veteran

Former Minnesota Vikings cornerback Patrick Peterson. (Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports)
Former Minnesota Vikings cornerback Patrick Peterson. (Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Steelers came out of “left field” to sign former Cardinals and Vikings cornerback Patrick Peterson, adding a veteran presence to the secondary.

NFL free agency opening up on Monday led to plenty of surprise agreements between teams and players, but one of the most unexpected involved the Steelers and Patrick Peterson.

The eight-time Pro Bowl cornerback spent last season with the Minnesota Vikings. Now he’s trading in purple for black and gold, as reported by Ian Rapoport and confirmed by the man himself on his podcast, All Things Covered.

He even admitted that the Steelers were a surprise suitor to him.

“It was kind of out of left field,” Peterson said on the podcast. “My agent was doing his job. He was calling around to see what teams wanted to have me in their locker room.”

Pittsburgh answered the bell, swooping in to scoop Peterson away from Minnesota and others.

Patrick Peterson wants Steelers to utilize him like Cameron Sutton

The corner doesn’t know exactly how the Steelers plan to deploy him, but he’s taken note of how Joe Haden and Cameron Sutton were used in Pittsburgh.

“I kind of envision myself being like those guys,” Peterson said. “Being a guy who can be implemented into the gameplan, not being a guy that’s just lining up on one side of the field, being able to mix and match me with different positions.”

Peterson started all 17 games for the Vikings last year. He had five interceptions and 15 pass defenses to go along with a career-high 66 tackles and three tackles for loss.

However, he put up those numbers on a Minnesota defense that ranked near the bottom of the league in points and yards allowed. He’ll join a defense that ranked 10th in points and 13th in yards allowed.

The Steelers will hope his veteran presence will help offset the loss of Sutton, who is heading to Detroit in free agency, and William Jackson, who was recently cut.

Peterson will be 33 years old when the 2023 season begins.

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