With the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2022 season over, the team finishing above .500 but failing to make the postseason, we have turned our attention to the offseason. One thing that it means is that some stock evaluations are going to start taking on broader contexts, reflecting on a player’s development, either positively or negatively, over the course of the season. Other evaluations will reflect only one immediate event or trend. The nature of the evaluation, whether short-term or long-term, will be noted in the reasoning section below.
Player: CB Patrick Peterson
Stock Value: Purchased
Reasoning: The Steelers made the signing of Patrick Peterson official yesterday, after which he had a 15-minute press conference with the local media. Entering his age-33 season, he understands the function he’s supposed to serve as a starter who will likely be asked to help groom the next generation to come after him.
The Pittsburgh Steelers failed to retain six-year veteran cornerback Cameron Sutton, in spite of the fact that they reportedly made attempts to do so. It is unknown whether or not they would have continued to pursue Patrick Peterson had they managed to retain Sutton, but one is here and the other is not.
Sutton is off to Detroit, where he looks to expand upon his past season and enter the prime of his career. Peterson understands that he is not quite the same player he once was athletically, but still feels that he can compete at a high level.
The Steelers reportedly signed him to a two-year, $14 million contract, a deal both sides believe they can get their money’s worth out of. He will obviously be a starter and has expressed an interest in moving around the field.
It remains to be seen exactly what Steelers’ plans are, though that may well have to wait until at least after the 2023 NFL Draft. If they happen to draft a cornerback in the first round, and depending on what that rookie’s skill set entails, Peterson could be used in a variety of ways.
He seems to have an appropriate level of understanding of where he is at this point in his career. Even though he is still capable of playing at a high level, he is at that point where teams will be looking to get younger. Especially at the cornerback position, performance can fall off a cliff suddenly, especially if one struggles to make that transition from athlete to technician.
But that’s something Peterson has seemed to do a nice job of doing. He’s very aware that he might have lost a half a step or so over the course of the past decade. But he uses accumulated knowledge to his advantage to keep balling out, with a five-pick season just last year.