The Steelers will attempt to trade starting cornerback Steven Nelson, according to a report by Adam Schefter of ESPN.
Nelson, 28, has been the Steelers starting cornerback for the last two seasons since coming over as a free agent from Kansas City in 2019.
He is entering the final season of his three-year free agent contract and is set to count for $14.42 million against the team’s salary cap this season. By trading Nelson, the Steelers would save $8.25 million while accumulating a dead cap hit of $6.17 million.
Nelson started 15 games for the Steelers in each of the last two seasons. He recorded three interceptions, 109 tackles and defended 17 passes with Pittsburgh. Pro Football Focus graded Nelson as the No. 32 cornerback in the NFL in 2020.
Veteran cornerback Joe Haden has started opposite of Nelson for each of the last two seasons. Last year’s starting slot corner Mike Hilton has moved on with a free-agent contract in Cincinnati. Dime corner Cam Sutton, who also backed up Haden and Nelson outside last year, is back on a two-year contract.
It’s unclear what the trade market for Nelson will be. The Steelers have eight selections in the 2021 NFL Draft, and could be looking to add to that total or move up in the draft.