The Steelers have made a notable roster move today, announcing in a press release that they have released veteran cornerback Cortez Allen. Because Allen has more than four years of NFL experience, he’ll immediately become a free agent without having to pass through waivers.
Allen, a fourth-round pick in 2011, showed some promise during his first three years in Pittsburgh, particularly in 2013, when he started eight games and picked up a pair of interceptions to go along with 13 passes defended. That performance prompted the Steelers to lock up Allen to a four-year extension worth $24.6MM in 2014.
Since then, however, the 27-year-old has regressed and struggled with injuries, appearing in just 12 total games over the last two seasons. By acknowledging their mistake with Allen and cutting him, the Steelers will reduce his cap number from $5.75MM to $4.05MM for 2016, creating $1.7MM in cap space.
The secondary, and cornerback in particular, is expected to be a primary area of focus for GM Kevin Colbert and the Steelers in this month’s draft. Pittsburgh has done its homework on top cornerback prospects, and may even go in that direction in round one.
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