Steelers To Sign CB Steven Nelson

Not usually big spenders in free agency, the Steelers are authorizing a mid-level deal to help their secondary. Pittsburgh agreed to terms with Steven Nelson, Ian Rapoport of tweets.

The four-year Chiefs cornerback will receive a three-year, $25.5MM pact. Nelson figures to be in line to make a strong run at the starting corner job opposite Joe Haden. While this is not a high-end cornerback contract, it is one of the biggest free agent deals the continuity-centric Steelers have ever finalized.

The Steelers’ Artie Burns pick has not gone as the franchise had hoped, with the 2016 first-round selection having been benched last season. Nelson had a much busier season, being picked on often. But the 2015 third-round pick intercepted four passes — the first four of his career — and was a constant in the Chiefs’ secondary.

Nelson, 26, did not play much as a rookie but emerged as Kansas City’s slot defender in 2016. After an injury-delayed 2017, Nelson moved outside and worked in that role last season. Pro Football Focus graded Nelson as the No. 33 corner last year.

He will join Haden in comprising a free agent tandem at corner for the draft-and-develop organization, with undrafted free agent Mike Hilton likely to continue to work in the slot. Haden has one season remaining on his three-year, $27MM contract.

One interesting side effect from this agreement: it may well affect the Steelers’ compensatory pick for Le’Veon Bell. The All-Pro running back’s next deal is not known, but OverTheCap’s Nick Korte projects (via Twitter) that if Bell signs for less than $11MM per year, the Steelers’ compensatory pick for him will drop to a fourth-rounder because of this Nelson deal.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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18 comments on “Steelers To Sign CB Steven Nelson

  1. TJECK109

    At 3 years 25mil he better be making more than a strong push. I’d also say goodbye to Artie Burned

  2. padam

    eh… Indifferent on this one as a Steeler fan. Wish there were better options out there, but need help at the position and this guy has luck on his side.

    • madmanTX

      They wouldn’t need the help if they’d stop drafting for luxury over need and actually select guys who perform.

      • jkoms57

        I’d argue that they reached on Burns specifically drafting out of need.

        Id also argue that they reached on Edmonds for same reason, although I actually like that pick now.

        See them reaching on a middle line backer this year too while we’re at it.

  3. deal1122

    So now they must be going ILB or WR in the first round right? I’d say ILB in the first and then WR in the 2nd

    • Ed Charles

      Colbert needs to try and stay awake during the draft, try to trade up . Don’t just do the usual and see who fell when its draft time.

  4. graysondecker

    I would have rather spent that sort of money on a solid wide receiver, like Golden Tate or Tyrell Williams, rather than a corner. It seems like a solid signing on the surface, I just hope it works out, because out big signings recently haven’t seemed to go well

  5. Ed Charles

    25 million gor 3 years, he damn well better be starting. Guy is a poor tackler. Colbert just makes me i’ll

  6. graysondecker

    The real question is, do you put Steven Nelson or Joe Haden on OBJ, now that they’re playing him twice a year? Both are likely to get burned, and whoever gets stuck on Landry isn’t going to get a break either. The Steelers are in trouble. So are the Bengals and the Ravens, and every other team that has to play the Browns

    • jkoms57

      The Giants traded him for a reason and the Browns are notorious blunderers,,

      I’ll wait to see it before I judge the super team.

      On paper they’re nice tho.

  7. jnlaughlin

    It would be worth only getting a 4th Round pick if it meant Bell got less than $11M per year!

  8. Stillers12

    He had 15 Passes Defensed and 4 INTs. Watched highlights on YouTube. He looks like a pretty good player. Glad we aren’t relying on the draft for another DB.

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