Steelers logo on a helmet.

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA – DECEMBER 16: A Pittsburgh Steelers helmet sits on the field prior to a game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 16, 2023 in Indianapolis, Indiana. 
One of the greatest NFL players of his generation will head right back to the free agent market.

According to a report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Pittsburgh Steelers have released Pro Bowl cornerback and future Hall of Famer Patrick Peterson. The move saves Mike Tomlin and company $6.85 million against the cap.


Last year, the Steelers signed Peterson to a two-year contract worth $14 million following his two-year stint with the Minnesota Vikings. But the eight-time Pro Bowler and three-time First-team All-Pro struggled considerably in Pittsburgh’s defense, and his hefty salary made his release from the Steelers inevitable.

Peterson appeared in all 17 games for the Steelers last season (16 starts) compiling two interceptions, 11 pass defenses and 42 combined tackled. The advanced statistics, however, did not paint a pretty picture for the future Hall of Famer.

According to Pro Football Reference, Peterson allowed a 59.4 completion percentage when targeted. He yielded a 91.5 opposing passer rating and surrendered four touchdowns in coverage, according to PFR.

The rise of rookie Joey Porter Jr., the son of former Steelers star Joey Porter, also made Peterson expendable in Steel City. Porter Jr. had a phenomenal rookie year in a limited role and will undoubtedly take over as the team’s lead CB1 in 2024.

There should still be considerable interest in Peterson, given his leadership and valuable experience. For his career, he has 36 interceptions and 122 pass defenses in 201 NFL games.