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Patrick Peterson Promises Return for 2024, But Where?

Veteran Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Patrick Peterson says he’s returning for his 14th season in 2024. But where?



Pittsburgh Steelers CB Patrick Peterson
Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Patrick Peterson celebrates during a game against the Indianapolis Colts on Dec. 16, 2023. -- Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

Veteran defensive back Patrick Peterson took to social media to express his desire to return to the NFL for 2024, but will that be with the Pittsburgh Steelers, and at what position? 

Well he was a bit more vague about that.

“In Control of my Destiny, Never in Doubt,” Peterson posted on X, formerly known as Twitter. “YEAR 13, THANK YOU!!! Continuing to persevere while balancing various roles. What lies ahead? … Year 14 … Be Back soon.”

Peterson, 33 is under contract with the Steelers for the 2024 season, but it remains a questions as to whether he will return to Pittsburgh because of the salary cap hit tied to that contract.

Peterson is due a $3 million roster bonus in March and is set to earn $3.85 million in 2024 salary, making his cap hit next season $9.775 million.

A longtime outside cornerback, Peterson was moved to the slot and then safety as the Steelers had rookie Joey Porter Jr. emerge on the outside and dealt with a half dozen absences at safety.

Pittsburgh Steelers CBs Joey Porter Jr Patrick Peterson

Pittsburgh Steelers cornerbacks Patrick Peterson and Joey Porter Jr. during a game against the Cincinnati Bengals on Dec. 23, 2023. — Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

Porter is now clearly the team’s No. 1 outside cornerback, and while Peterson could man the second spot, or play in the slot or at safety, those positions don’t usually come with the same kind of price tag as top guys on the outside.

With the Steelers currently $15m over the salary cap and likely needing to clear more than double that before the start of the 2024 season, the team may need to find a way to reduce the cap hits of veterans like Peterson, Cam Hayward and Allen Robinson II — or move on from them altogether.

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The answer could be an extension. Peterson has talked about a more permanent move potentially extending his career. He could sign an extension with the Steelers, moving some of his 2024 salary and bonus into future years to even out the cap hit.