Players signing to new teams typically dominate the front pages during NFL free agency. But the Pittsburgh Steelers made a wise move within their own building Thursday that may not be the most compelling, but will definitely help them moving forward.
According to NFL insider Field Yates, the Steelers have restructured the contract of star safety Minkah Fitzpatrick. Last June, Fitzpatrick signed a four-year, $73.6 million extension last year with the Steelers. But the recent restructuring of his contract gives the franchise $10.065 million in cap space.
Fitzpatrick will be entering his seventh season in the league and his fifth with the Steelers. He was drafted by the Miami Dolphins in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft, traded to Pittsburgh after two seasons in South Beach.
He made his third Pro Bowl and received First-team All-Pro honors for a third time in his career this season. Last year he recorded 96 tackles, tied a career-high with 11 passes defended, and grabbed a career and league-high six interceptions.
The Steelers have made the secondary one of their top priorities so far this offseason. Along with restructuring Fitzpatrick’s deal, they also signed veteran corner Patrick Peterson. Peterson, who’s 32 years old, signed a two-year $14 million contract with the Steelers with $5.85 million guaranteed. The 12 year veteran and eight-time Pro Bowl selection will likely replace Cam Sutton, who Pittsburgh lost to the Detroit Lions in free agency.
The Steelers also signed safety Damontae Kazee, who spent four years with the Atlanta Falcons and one with the Dallas Cowboys last season. Kazee led the NFL in interceptions just a few years ago in 2018, and could round out a solid secondary unit in the Steel City.