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PFF Tabs Steelers as Best Landing Spot for Stephon Gilmore

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With the 2024 NFL Draft now concluded, the Pittsburgh Steelers are still left with needs at wide receiver and cornerback. Maybe they bring back Patrick Peterson or Chandon Sullivan for help at slot corner. Mike Tomlin and Omar Khan also met with former Steelers cornerback Cam Sutton, but there’s some off the field issues that need to be straightened out.

There’s really not a lot out there on the cornerback market, but Gordon McGuinness of Pro Football Focus thinks the Steelers should kick the tires on 2019 NFL Defensive Player of the Year Stephon Gilmore.

“Gilmore will turn 34 at the start of the 2024 season but has performed well in three one-year stints with different teams since 2022. He earned a 69.3 PFF coverage grade in 2023, allowing 734 yards and five touchdowns from 622 snaps in coverage while totaling 11 combined interceptions and pass breakups.

“The Steelers played Cover 1 on 25.8% of passing downs last season, with the Cowboys one of just five teams to do so at a higher rate, and still have a need at cornerback,” McGuinness wrote.

As McGuinness alluded to, Gilmore is not the same player that he was in 2019 when he won NFL Defensive Player of the Year as a New England Patriot, but he was solid in Dallas last season, recording two interceptions and 13 passes defended. He also had two interceptions and 11 passes defended with Indianapolis in 2022.

Joey Porter Jr. and Donte Jackson are slotted to be the Steelers’ two outside starting cornerbacks. Signing a soon-to-be 34-year-old cornerback might not be the best option. But, if they do bring in Gilmore, it certainly would be an upgrade from Peterson and Sullivan. He wouldn’t be a long-term solution, but Gilmore would be a good veteran to help mold Porter and Jackson.

Sutton would be the ideal option for the Steelers, given his age and familiarity. But the domestic abuse allegations are very serious, and could be prudent for the Steelers to stay far away.

Sutton will likely face NFL discipline regardless of the result of the legal process. NFL policies do not require someone to be legally found guilty in order for the league’s discipline process to kick in, and the NFL will investigate Sutton concurrently with the courts. If Sutton is found guilty of domestic battery, he likely faces at least a six-game suspension, without pay.