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Steelers’ CB Patrick Peterson: ‘Swiss Army knife’ for defense?

The Pittsburgh Steelers signed Patrick Peterson this offseason following the departure of CB Cam Sutton.

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports

Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Patrick Peterson may not be the sure-fire Pro Bowl cornerback he once was in his days with the Arizona Cardinals, but the 13-year pro is still someone who can cause some damage to opposing NFL offenses.

The Steelers signed Peterson to a two-year contract after spending the past two seasons with the Minnesota Vikings. While Peterson has mostly played outside in his career, the Steelers expect to have the talented veteran in several different spots in the Pittsburgh secondary.

“The veteran corner teased this offseason that he’s learned several new positions in his first offseason as a Steeler, meaning he’s a virtual lock to replace Cameron Sutton as the Swiss Army knife of Mike Tomlin’s secondary, with snaps at nickel, dime, and safety on the table,” CBS Sports’ Cody Benjamin writes. “On a ‘D’ where lots could be asked of newcomer Joey Porter Jr., his comfort as a veteran starter is key.”

Sutton spent the past six seasons playing multiple roles with the Steelers before signing with the Detroit Lions this offseason. It’s a loss for Pittsburgh, but having someone who’s seen as much NFL football as Peterson is the 70 cents on the dollar the Steelers could benefit from.

He’ll also be expected to play the role of “on-field coach” for second-round rookie Joey Porter Jr. as he transitions from Penn State to the pros.

The value Peterson is expected to have transcends his $7 million average annual salary, and if he proves to be a bargain, the Steelers may inch closer to the postseason.