Detroit Lions Becoming Team To Watch On Free Agent Cornerback

Detroit Lions
NFL Analysis Network

Last year, the Detroit Lions made a significant move in NFL free agency by signing former Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Cameron Sutton.

With Sutton now out of the picture, Bleacher Report’s Alex Ballentine suggests that the Lions could turn to another former Steelers defensive back in free agency: Patrick Peterson.

Ballentine identifies the Lions as a potential landing spot for the three-time All-Pro cornerback.

Following the expiration of his rookie contract, Peterson inked a lucrative 5-year, $70 million deal to remain with the Arizona Cardinals. Throughout his initial five seasons, he garnered first-team All-Pro honors three times and secured eight consecutive Pro Bowl selections starting from his debut season in 2011.

Over the past three seasons, Peterson has plied his trade with the Minnesota Vikings and the Steelers. During his tenure in Pittsburgh last year, he tallied 42 combined tackles, 11 pass defenses, and 2 interceptions across 17 regular-season games.

While Peterson may not boast the same dominance as in years past—he hasn’t earned All-Pro honors since 2015 and his last Pro Bowl appearance was in 2018—he still offers potential value, potentially bolstering the depth of a competitive team like the Lions.

Peterson’s performance with the Steelers last season was marked by inconsistency, with occasional struggles in tackling. However, he retains the ability to excel in coverage. In Detroit, he wouldn’t necessarily be tasked with shadowing the opponent’s top receiver as he did for much of the 2023 season in Pittsburgh. That responsibility is likely to fall on newly acquired Lions cornerback Carlton Davis.

The Steelers parted ways with Peterson this offseason mainly due to his hefty projected cap hit of over $9 million. However, at a more affordable price tag, Peterson presents an intriguing option for Detroit, thanks to his veteran experience and versatility.

Peterson could either slot in as a starter opposite Davis or provide support to nickel cornerback Brian Branch in covering the slot. Additionally, Peterson began transitioning to the safety position in 2023, a role he’s open to expanding further in the upcoming season.

Needless to say, this would be a low-cost and possibly high reward type of signing for the Detroit Lions.

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