Patrick Peterson is a Pittsburgh Steeler in 2023. He nearly started that journey a year ago. At his introductory press conference, Peterson said he spoke with Pittsburgh last offseason about signing with the Steelers and wasn’t surprised that they came calling again.
“We almost made something happen last year,” he told reporters via the team’s YouTube channel. “Conversations with Grady and Coach Tomlin last year. Obviously wasn’t able to make it happen. A different situation, losing a key corner to their secondary in Cam. It felt like they needed a guy that had some of those same attributes as a smart, tough, physical football player. And I wanted to be a part of this pedigree and identity that this Steelers organization and team brings to the NFL.”
Peterson re-signed with Minnesota last year on another one-year deal. According to Peterson, the Vikings expressed a desire in bringing him back for 2023. But he decided to sign a two-year deal with the Steelers with the hopes of finishing his career in Pittsburgh. Over his 12-year career, he has started 184 games, picking off 34 passes. He has the most interceptions (34) of any active player in the NFL.
Peterson cited Mike Tomlin’s influence and playing for Steelers Nation as reasons that finally brought him to Pittsburgh. He also pointed out his close relationship with cousin Bryant McFadden, a former Steelers corner who helped sell him on Pittsburgh.
Peterson will replace the departed Cam Sutton as an outside corner. He also expressed a desire to be more versatile with his new team, something he lobbied the Vikings to do but his role never expanded. Peterson admitted he’s well into his 30s and would be interested in rotating as a safety to give the defense more flexibility.
He is one of several defensive free agents the team has brought in over the last few days. In addition to Peterson, the team signed LB Cole Holcomb to a three-year deal and reportedly have agreed to terms with Miami’s Elandon Roberts. The Steelers also have a slew of draft picks through which they will likely look to get younger and faster on defense.