Steelers To Decline CB Artie Burns’ Option

The Steelers are not expected to exercise cornerback Artie Burns‘ fifth-year option for the 2020 season, as Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com tweets.

[RELATED: 2020 Fifth-Year Option Decision Tracker]

Burns turns 24 years old today, so Pittsburgh’s decision comes as an unwelcome birthday present. Had the Steelers opted to pick up his option, Burns would have been scheduled to earn $9.954MM in 2020, but that total would have guaranteed for injury only. If Burns had remained healthy but underwhelmed with his play during the upcoming season, Pittsburgh could have cut bait with no financial ramifications.

The 25th pick of the 2016 draft, Burns started 25 games during his first two years with the Steelers, posting four total interceptions during that time. Things fell apart in 2018, as Burns was benched multiple times and ultimately started only six contests. Football Outsiders charted Burns with just a 42% success rate in coverage, which would have ranked him in the bottom-third of the league had he posted enough snaps to qualify.

Burns isn’t necessarily a lock for the Steelers’ 2019 roster, as the club would incur only ~$1.3MM in dead money by waiving him in the coming months. If he does return, Burns is likely to be buried on Pittsburgh’s secondary depth chart. Joe Haden, Mike Hilton, and free agent addition Steven Nelson project as the Steelers’ starting corners, while 2017 third-round pick Cameron Sutton and rookie third-rounder Justin Layne will also compete for snaps.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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7 comments on “Steelers To Decline CB Artie Burns’ Option

  1. connfyoozed

    Maybe he turns it around but I’m not betting on it. He was a hot mess last year, and he really wasn’t doing all that well before then either.

    • jkoms57

      I’d assume he’s cut in the preseason.
      There’s almost no upside with him at all.

    • connfyoozed

      Actually Taylor was pretty solid much of the time, but he would have 2 or 3 awful games per season. He also couldn’t catch a cold, so his low INT numbers made people think he couldn’t play. Chad Johnson once called Ike one of the toughest corners he faced in his career.

    • forwhomjoshbelltolls

      Taylor was the top corner on two Super Bowl teams.

      Your scouting is awful.

    • jkoms57

      HA Ike Taylor held down his job for what 15 years?

      Sure, Julio and AJ are gonna make you look bad from time to time, but he was overall super effective.

      In fact I don’t ever recall pass interence called against him. I’m sure it happened a few times, but he was very quiet in terms of dumb penalties

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