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Patrick Peterson Says Everything Bryant McFadden Told Him About Steelers Is True, ‘Happy To Finally Be A Part Of One Of Coach Tomlin’s Teams’

The Pittsburgh Steelers, who have a lengthy history of struggling to draft and develop quality cornerbacks, lost Cameron Sutton in free agency in March. The Detroit Lions stepped up and offered him $11 million per season over three years, evidently significantly more than Pittsburgh was willing to put up.

One wonders if part of the reason why was because the Steelers knew they might have Patrick Peterson in their back pocket. Though he’s no spring chicken, Peterson is one of the top cornerbacks of his era, and they’ve surely known that he would be open to playing for them.

After all, he has a lengthy history, including a family history, his cousin Bryant McFadden having spent most of his career with the Steelers. The two have hosted a podcast together for a few years now and are clearly quite close. Peterson opted to take McFadden’s old number 20 in honor of his cousin. Suffice it to say that he’s heard plenty of Steelers and Mike Tomlin stories over the years. And now that he’s here, he sees they were true.

“No doubt about it. Everything that he told me about this organization, this facility, this locker room, Coach Tomlin, I mean…just loss of words”, he told reporters yesterday when he was asked about the stories living up to the reality, via the team’s website. “I’m just happy to finally be a part of one of Coach Tomlin’s teams”.

That “finally” was not a throwaway line. While his play throughout the bulk of his career had priced him out of Pittsburgh’s market, this isn’t the first time he’s talked about having wanted to play for the Steelers.

Talking about defensive backs coach Grady Brown, with whom he worked at LSU, he said, “We should’ve ended up together last year, because I wanted to come here last year, but um…we’ll leave it [at that]. I’m here now”.

That “um” was no doubt a reference to market matters. Peterson hasn’t exactly played at a bargain rate, although he did end up taking a one-year, $4 million deal in 2022 to stay in Minnesota, which proved to be worth more due to incentives.

He signed a two-year, $14 million contract in March to join Tomlin and the Steelers, expressing a desire to end his career here. Whether that comes at the end of his current contract—he has talked about wanting to play 14 seasons, which would run through the end of that deal—or beyond remains to be seen. But at least up to this point, both sides appear to be getting what they’ve wanted for a while now.

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