The Steelers have terminated the contract of cornerback Steven Nelson, the team announced on Tuesday afternoon.
Nelson, 28, had been the team’s starting cornerback for two seasons since joining the club as an unrestricted free agent from Kansas City in 2019.
The team had reportedly been attempting to trade Nelson since late last week, and gave Nelson’s agent permission to speak with other teams to arrange a trade, apparently without success.
Nelson tweeted earlier on Tuesday that he wanted the team to make a decision on his future, saying “don’t hold me hostage.” After his release, Nelson thanked the team.
“Pittsburgh, much love,” Nelson wrote. “I appreciate the opportunity and the relationships I gained along the way. Respect to a Class A organization from top down.”
Pittsburgh much love I appreciate the opportunity and the relationships I gained along the way Respect to a Class A organization from top down. Thank you to my day 1 supporters and can’t forget my haters you motivate me more than you know🎯 #nelsonisland
— Steve Nelson (@Nelson_Island) March 23, 2021
Nelson started 30 games for the team over the last two seasons and recorded 109 tackles, 17 passes defended and three interceptions. He was rated as the No. 36 cornerback in the NFL in 2020 by Pro Football Focus.
The Steelers will save $8.25 million from their 2021 salary cap obligations by releasing Nelson, but he will leave a $6.17 dead money cap hit this season. The Steelers had been just under the offseason salary cap before releasing Nelson.