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.
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