Steelers Release Steven Nelson

Apparently there wasn’t much trade interest in Steven Nelson. The Steelers have released the veteran cornerback, the team announced on Tuesday.

We heard last Friday that Pittsburgh had given Nelson permission to seek a trade, but nothing materialized. The move came less than an hour after Nelson tweeted his displeasure with the process, asking the team not to hold him “hostage.” Nelson was due a reasonable base salary of $8.25MM, but was set to count for $14.4MM against the Steelers’ cap. A third-round pick of the Chiefs in 2015, he spent his first four years in Kansas City.

His work there landed him a three-year, $25.5MM deal from the Steelers in March of 2019. He started 30 games for Pittsburgh over the last two seasons, racking up 17 passes defended and three interceptions, and received strong marks from Pro Football Focus. Over the last two years, PFF has him graded as the NFL’s 11th-best cornerback.

Nelson just turned 28 in January, and should have plenty of suitors on the open market. The Steelers have now cut Nelson, let Mike Hilton walk in free agency, and have Joe Haden turning 32 next month. They’ve got a lot of planning to do for their secondary of the future.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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9 comments on “Steelers Release Steven Nelson

  1. gozurman1

    The Steelers are hamstrung by the Cap this season. Nelson must not wanted to restructure and extend here. He would have counted over 14 million against the Cap and he is not worth that. By releasing him they save 8 million of that cap number and can look to fill some holes with the remainder. of the savings.

  2. leefieux

    They should’ve kept him. Opposing QBs are going to be licking their chops.

    • gozurman1

      I am thinking they may have tried but Nelson was not agreeable to extending and restructuring to lessen his 14 Million hit. If they kept him at that cap number they would have been even weaker at other positions.

    • 3Rivers

      Nah. Steven Nelson on his own isn’t a significant loss. Cam Sutton should be able replicate what Nelson did for the team.
      What does hurt, however, is that they have to replace what Sutton(and Hilton) did. Have no confidence in Justin Layne.
      If I had to let one of the three go, it would be Nelson. I wish they would have been able to keep Hilton. That is a big loss.

  3. Mr Goodkat

    Someone is going to get a bargain. Weird move. Significantly weakens the secondary.

    • 3Rivers

      They were forced, he was asking for a trade, he wanted out. Like the article said, must not have been any trade interest, so given the possible 8-9 million that could be saved, which is desperately needed, I don’t see anything weird about it.

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