Source: Steelers, CB Patrick Peterson agree to 2-year deal

Why Patrick Peterson to the Steelers makes sense (1:32)

Adam Schefter, Dan Orlovsky and Mina Kimes weigh in on Patrick Peterson signing with the Steelers. (1:32)

The Pittsburgh Steelers have agreed to a two-year deal with free agent cornerback Patrick Peterson, a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Peterson, who will turn 33 this summer, spent the past two seasons with the Minnesota Vikings after 10 years with the Arizona Cardinals in a stretch that included eight Pro Bowl berths and three All-Pro honors.

On his podcast "All Things Covered" with former Steelers cornerback Bryant McFadden on Monday, Peterson said the Steelers' interest "came out of left field."

"I've always been a great big fan of just how Mike [Tomlin] teams were always prepared to play any given football game, even if they were outmatched on paper," Peterson said. "They were always a competitive football team, and he's going to have his team prepared to fight. Looking forward to all the cliches, all the sayings that Coach uses and things like that. ... My agent was doing his job, and he was calling around and seeing what teams were wanting to have me in their locker room, and Pittsburgh was one of those teams we felt would be a great destination for me."

Peterson, older than the Steelers' typical free agent signing, is set to replace longtime cornerback Cameron Sutton, who agreed to a three-year deal with the Detroit Lions earlier Monday, a source told ESPN.

"I'm done talking about my age, because the proof is in the pudding," Peterson said. "I know I still can ball. I work and train entirely too hard -- and different. That's the thing. I train different from everybody else across the league. I train and work on things that I use and that I'm going to use and that are going to help me in games."

A 12-year veteran, Peterson said on his podcast he hoped to play 14 years in the NFL. With a two-year deal in Pittsburgh, the plan is to finish his career with the Steelers.

"Pittsburgh is one of the more storied franchises in the league, and why not want to be a part of something like that to finish off my career," Peterson said. Later, he added: "If we're able to iron out the details and the years that I would like in this contract ... I don't perceive myself moving around anymore after this contract, for the most part."

Peterson played in two distinctly different schemes with the Vikings. One, under former coach Mike Zimmer, called for a relatively high rate of press-man coverage. The other, installed by new coach Kevin O'Connell and administered by defensive coordinator Ed Donatell, put him in a new position -- as a zone roamer who could anticipate passes and jump routes for big plays.

As a result, Peterson intercepted five passes in 2022, the second-highest total for a season in his career. He relished his resurgence into a playmaker role.

"All I heard the last two years is that 'He's washed up, he's done,'" Peterson said at midseason. "... I've been here before -- I know how to keep it. And I want to continue being challenged and continue helping this team win ballgames. Because I promise you this, if I get challenged, I will show up on the stat sheet. And that's why I've been missing out on Pro Bowls and All-Pros. I'm here. Twelve years in and I'm still standing strong."

O'Connell fired Donatell after the season and replaced him with Brian Flores, whose scheme features more blitzing and therefore a higher rate of man defense -- an approach that would have fit Peterson perfectly earlier in his career.

Peterson has 34 interceptions, 111 passes defended and 610 tackles in 12 NFL seasons.

Though Peterson said his role with the Steelers hasn't been defined yet, he envisions being used in ways similar to Sutton and former cornerback Joe Haden.

"I kind of envisioned myself being like those guys, being a guy that can be implemented into the game plan, not being a guy that's just lining up on one side of the field -- being able to mix and match me in different positions," Peterson said. "Especially now being this late in my career, I feel like the game is so much slower to me now. So I see it at a different speed. I have a different perspective. I have so much more knowledge of what I have, understanding what's going to happen to me, and that's why I'm able to be in position to make plays."

Peterson said he hasn't decided on a Steelers jersey number yet, but he wore No. 7 -- Ben Roethlisberger's old number -- in Minnesota and during high school. He also wore No. 21 in Arizona and No. 2 through JV football.

"I would love to rock No. 7," Peterson said. "Seven has always been special to me."

ESPN's Kevin Seifert contributed to this report.