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Patrick Peterson wants to return, but won’t accept bench role

This article originally appeared on SteelersNOW.com.

The Pittsburgh Steelers will have to make a tough call with veteran cornerback Patrick Peterson this offseason. He understands its business and cap implications, and Peterson wants to return. But that’s not fully up to him, and what he wants to do might not align with the Steelers. But Peterson did say that he was willing to do everything except sit on the bench in a glorified coaching role. If the team has a role envisioned for him, he wants it.

“You know I want to [keep playing]. The question is if the Steelers want me to finish with them,” Peterson said on the All Things Covered Podcast. “Me and Coach Tomlin had a great conversation after the season. Obviously, I know that you have to go through your evaluations in the draft and free agency and things like that, but for me, what I was able to do in Year 13 playing different positions, coming into a new environment. I felt my season was very successful playing 97 percent of my snaps…As you saw this year, I’m open to playing wherever, whenever. Wherever I can be to help the team, I’m all for it. Except for the bench.”

That is the key phrase there. Peterson is not against returning it seems like, even a reduced role. But he needs to play somewhere. Peterson started to improve down the stretch as he moved around the defensive formation, but with a cap hit of nearly $10 million this upcoming season, it seems unlikely he will play on that number. In other words, Peterson will need to be extended to take a pay cut or could be released.

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