The Steelers have granted Steven Nelson permission to seek a trade, according to a source who spoke with ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter (on Twitter). Nelson, 28, has been starting for the Steelers for the last two years.
Nelson isn’t a household name, but the advanced metrics have been fond of his work. Between the last two years combined, Pro Football Focus has him tied as the eleventh-best cornerback in the NFL. Meanwhile, the last year of his three-year, $22.5MM deal is set to count for $14.4MM on the Steelers’ cap. It stands to reason that Nelson would draw trade interest, given his reasonable his base salary of $8.25MM. Still, there are other quality cornerbacks available on the open market, including All-Pro Kyle Fuller.
After watching Mike Hilton leave for the Bengals, the Steelers re-upped corner Cameron Sutton on a two-year deal. Without Nelson, the Steelers’ CB group would be headlined Joe Haden, Sutton, and 2019 third-round pick Justin Layne, who hasn’t seen much playing time.
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