Steelers options at slot corner after releasing Arthur Maulet

Pittsburgh Steelers v Baltimore Ravens
Pittsburgh Steelers v Baltimore Ravens / Michael Owens/GettyImages
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The Pittsburgh Steelers parted ways with veteran cornerback Arthur Maulet this past Wednesday in a somewhat surprising way. The now ex-Steeler requested his release from the team after contract disputes made the situation unsalvageable between both parties. Maulet took to his Instagram account shortly after the transaction hit the news cycle with a cryptic description of the situation.

Pittsburgh added to its secondary in a big way this offseason, through the draft and free agency, but three of the four corners added to the team play the boundary and not in the slot. Newly acquired slot corner Chandon Sullivan will likely make his debut as a Pittsburgh Steeler this fall after signing with the team in free agency, making his way over from Minnesota.

Sullivan however, is an average at best option to fill the void left behind by Cameron Sutton and Arthur Maulet. The former Minnesota Viking posted an abysmal 55.8 overall PFF grade in 2022 and gave up a whopping 72 receptions to receivers lining up across from him.

Overall, I love what the Steelers have done this offseason on defense, and predict they will be one of the league's best in 2023. Their slot corner situation on the other hand is very troublesome, and I can't see the team taking the field in Week 1 against a talented San Francisco 49ers offense with Chandon Sullivan handling the first-team slot corner duties. With that being said, here are some potential options for the Steelers to explore to address the position:

Pittsburgh could transition Patrick Peterson into the slot

Peterson has primarily played on the outside for the majority of his All-Pro level career, but it is not out of the realm of possibility for the Steelers to move him into the slot if they need to. A trio of Patrick Peterson, Joey Porter Jr, and Levi Wallace sounds much more capable than a lineup with Porter Jr and Peterson on the outside with Wallace on the bench and an inexperienced or ineffective slot corner on the field instead.

The former Arizona Cardinal and Minnesota Viking has not shown any signs of his production slowing down after recording five interceptions in 2022, but his speed and athleticism are not what they used to be which could be exposed against faster slot receivers if Peterson were to make the transition.

This scenario wouldn't be the worst possible solution, but I would much rather see the team keep Peterson on the outside where he has made his money throughout his career, and address the position in another way.