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Could Steelers Be In on a Trade For Saints CB Marshon Lattimore?




New Orleans Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore could be on the move, according to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN. In an ESPN+ article released on Sunday, Fowler stated that Lattimore may be available via a trade and several teams believe he could be dealt.

Could the Pittsburgh Steelers be one of those teams? They definitely need to upgrade the cornerback position opposite of Joey Porter Jr. Levi Wallace and Patrick Peterson were clearly below the line last season.

The Steelers are well-aware of this, too. A league source in Indianapolis told Steelers Now that Pittsburgh has expressed interest in Kansas City Chiefs cornerback L’Jarius Sneed. Pittsburgh believes they need to upgrade their cornerback room, and the team sees Sneed as one of the top potential fits.

The Chiefs’ asking price is at least a second-round pick, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network and Dianna Russini of The Athletic have reported and sources confirmed to Steelers Now. Kansas City has informed Sneed that they will franchise tag him, unless the sides can work out an arrangement on a long-term contract. If the Chiefs can’t sign Sneed, they play to tag and trade him, according to Jordan Schultz of Bleacher-Report.

In addition, Pittsburgh expressed interest in Chicago Bears cornerback Jaylon Johnson at the trade deadline last season. So, acquiring a talented cornerback is something that they have explored as recently as the middle of the season. Johnson and Sneed are the top two available players whose contracts expired after the 2023 season. The Bears are also attempting to sign Johnson to an extension.

The deadline for the Chiefs to apply the tag to Sneed is March 5. The free agent contact period opens March 11. If the Steelers don’t land Sneed or Johnson, Lattimore could be a nice fallback option.

Lattimore turns 28 in May, so he’s still in the prime of his career. The Cleveland native and Ohio State product was selected by New Orleans at 11th overall in the 2017 NFL Draft. He was named NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2017 and has four Pro Bowl appearances under his belt.

In 90 career games (all starts), Lattimore has recorded 375 total tackles (304 solos), seven tackles for loss, 86 passes defended, 15 interceptions, two of which were returned for touchdowns, five forced fumbles and five fumble recoveries.

Injuries have plagued Lattimore in the last two seasons, so that’s why New Orleans might want to trade him. He’s played in only 17 games over the last two years. He dealt with a lacerated kidney in 2022 that kept him out 10 games. And then in 2023, he was placed on injured reserve after suffering an ankle injury in Week 10 and did not return.

According to NewOrleans.Football’s Nick Underhill, an unusual contract restructure has made a trade more likely this offseason for Lattimore. Underhill reports that the Saints converted most of Lattimore’s salary to an option bonus that will be paid out a week before the 2024 season starts. If he’s dealt, that option bonus would be paid by his new team, not New Orleans.

The restructure reduced Lattimore’s salary cap hit from $25.6 million to $14.6 million. If Lattimore is traded before June 1, they would have to pay more than $30.4 million in dead money. If they wait until June 2, they would only pay $13.4 million in dead money in 2024 and roughly $20.8 million in 2025.