Announcement: Steelers release Patrick Petersen ahead of… 

Peterson, who turns 34 in July, leaves behind a $2.9 million dead cap hit, but with a scheduled $9.7 million cap hit next season, the move lessens the Steelers salary cap by nearly $7 million for 2024. Pittsburgh is still in the bottom half of the league in cap space, but now has over $11 million in room ahead of NFL free agency.


The veteran corner is headed to the Hall of Fame someday and is still a productive player. Last season, he started 16 of 17 games for the Steelers and had two interceptions, 11 passes defended, and 42 tackles.

However, at 34 and a near-$10 million salary, the Steelers decided to commit to their youth in the secondary and allocate that money elsewhere.


Pittsburgh currently has cornerbacks Joey Porter Jr., Darius Rush, and Cory Trice Jr. — who are all 24 years old — under contract for next season. CBs Levi Wallace (28), Chandon Sullivan (27), and Elijah Riley (25) are all free agents as well and would fit the Steelers’ timeline better than Peterson.

The Peterson release comes on the heels of the franchise also letting veteran safety Keanu Neal go earlier in the week. While this doesn’t signal a hard rebuild by any means, it does seem like the Steelers are committing to getting younger in 2024.

This begs the question, what does that mean for other high-priced Steelers stalwarts like Cameron Heyward, Minkah Fitzpatrick, Larry Ogunjobi, and Allen Robinson in the coming days?