BENZ: Brown's plea to add Peterson to Steelers makes perfect sense, likely won't happen

(Greensburg) Tribune-Review (TNS)
  • Pittsburgh's Antonio Brown would like to see Patrick Peterson added to the Steelers' roster.
  • Peterson is a standout cornerback with the Arizona Cardinals.
  • If Arizona deals Peterson, Pittsburgh is considered a possible destination.

Antonio Brown is making a public plea to get another NFL superstar.

His attempt to get Dez Bryant didn't work. I don't think a lot of Pittsburgh Steelers fans are upset about that.

Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson (21) sits on the bench during the second half of an NFL football game against the Denver Broncos, Thursday, Oct. 18, 2018, in Glendale, Ariz. The Broncos won 45-10. (AP Photo/Ralph Freso)

But I do think they'd love to see this new request come through. Brown is trying to lure Arizona cornerback Patrick Peterson to Heinz Field.

Brown made that public despite Michael Bidwell's recent statement about Peterson. The Cardinals owner said a trade of Peterson "isn't happening."

However, in the days since that decree, Peterson has requested a move out of the desert.

Also, CBS Sports lists Pittsburgh as one of the most likely destinations for Peterson if the team should acquiesce to a trade.

If the Steelers could pair Peterson with Joe Haden in advance of the Oct. 30 trade deadline, that would give the organization its best corner tandem ever.

But, as is the case with a lot of Brown posts, easier tweeted than done.

Issues hard to overcome: According to Spotrac, Peterson would cost $6.47 million against the cap if acquired now. Spotrac lists the Steelers as having $9.2 million in salary cap space. But the Steelers also have to figure out when Le'Veon Bell and his $855,000 per week will report.

And, if they want to get him off the books, they need him to sign the franchise tag and trade him before the deadline hits. Or they can rescind the tag and let Bell go wherever he wants.

As Art Rooney II said to this weekend, he expects Bell to remain on the Steelers for the rest of the year.

Beyond all those complicated logistics, there's the cost of what it will take to get Peterson. Dallas already screwed up the marketplace by giving up a first-round pick for Oakland receiver Amari Cooper. Peterson is a better corner than Cooper is a receiver. And quality receivers are far more plentiful than quality corners are. Yet, Jerry Jones just barfed up a first-rounder to get Cooper.

FILE - In this Oct. 7, 2018, file photo, Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown looks for running room as he plays against the Atlanta Falcons in an NFL football game in Pittsburgh.

Then there is the reality of Peterson costing $23 million more over the next two years. Frankly, with Bell likely moving on after this season ends, I see that as a good thing. Two more years of a good starting corner at that price? I'll take it. After all, Haden's scheduled base salary in 2019 — the final year of his contract — is $10 million with a cap hit of $11.9 million.

Seems like a fantastic idea: Pairing those two in the back third of the defense for a year and half, then having Peterson for one more season to buffer Haden's potential departure, seems like a fantastic idea.

Is Peterson worth a first-round pick, and perhaps more? I believe he is. He's not a rental. He's affordable for two more years. He's a year younger than Haden. He's still very good. He's a massive upgrade at the weakest position on the football team.

Plus, Peterson's presence would allow the Steelers to do so much more in the blitz game and would allow Keith Butler to play more man-to-man defense. Or, the Steelers could keep the two on opposite sides and not feel as if a mismatch is occurring. Hence, travelling with the other team's top wide receiver would be less of a priority.

Getting Peterson now would give the Steelers a known commodity as opposed to an unproven first-round draft pick. His presence alone this year could make the defense feel as if it had a fighting chance against the likes of Tom Brady, Philip Rivers, or Patrick Mahomes in the playoffs.

Without him, that chasm at corner is a big reason why it's still questionable if the team makes the postseason in the first place.

Brown likely won't get wish: Yes, I'd give up a first-rounder for Peterson. No, the Steelers probably would not. And, given the uncertainty surrounding Bell's status, it's unlikely the moving parts would fall into place in time to make a deal anyway.

So, sorry A.B. You're probably not getting your wish.