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‘I Wanted to Be a Part of It’: Mike Tomlin, Tradition Sold Patrick Peterson on Steelers



Steelers Patrick Peterson

Just about everyone was surprised when the Pittsburgh Steelers agreed to sign veteran cornerback Patrick Peterson on the first day of free agent contact on Monday.

Including Patrick Peterson.

“This was kind of, like, out of left field,” Peterson said on Monday in a special episode of his All Things Covered podcast with former Steelers cornerback Bryant McFadden. “My agent was doing his job and he was calling around and seeing what teams would like to have me in their locker room. And Pittsburgh was one of those teams that we felt would be a great destination for me.”

The Steelers are not a team that is normally a big spender in free agency, or a big player early in the first day, usually letting other teams set the market and finding inefficiencies. But when Cam Sutton left on a three-year agreement with the Detroit Lions, the Steelers got aggressive and shocked everyone by being the team to respond to Peterson’s agent.

That works out just fine for Peterson, who has been an admirer of the Steelers, and especially head coach Mike Tomlin, from afar for years now.

“I obviously love Coach Tomlin and what he brings to the table,” Peterson said. “And just how consistent he is, how consistent the defense is, how consistent the team is — year in and year out. They’re always in position to win ball games. That’s all you can ask for. To be in position to win ball games. Of course, I want to win a Super Bowl, and that’s always far-fetched for 32 teams. But, if you have an opportunity to get into the playoffs, that’s where it all starts, and that new season starts.”

He added that it’s an ideal situation for him to finish out his career, which will likely land him a bust in Canton. Peterson said he wants to play at least two more seasons, and his contract with Pittsburgh will cover those. The three-time All-Pro spent the previous two go-rounds in Minnesota, pulling down six interceptions — five of which came in 2022. He said that the Vikings were one of the teams that hit his agent’s line Monday, but joining Tomlin appealed to him most.

“I’ve always been a big fan of just how Mike T teams were just always prepared to play any given football game — even if they were out-matched on paper,” Peterson said. “He’s going to have his team prepared to fight.”

Peterson admitted that he wasn’t expecting the Steelers to be on working out a deal for him, which podcast co-host and former Steelers cornerback Bryant McFadden echoed. Peterson is ready to pull on the black and gold and hear Tomlin-isms for himself.

“I’m looking forward to all the cliches, all the sayings that coach uses,” Peterson said. “That’s why I wanted to be part of it … Very storied franchise. What better franchise would you want to end your career in?”

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