10 realistic replacements Steelers could find for CB Steven Nelson

Casey Hayward #26 of the Los Angeles Chargers. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Casey Hayward #26 of the Los Angeles Chargers. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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With the Steelers releasing Steven Nelson, here is a comprehensive ranking of the ten most realistic options to replace him next season.

It came as a shock, but the Steelers finally released veteran cornerback Steven Nelson. Despite being one of the better free agents’ signings of the past few years as well as one of the only ones to stick around longer than a year, his stay in the steel city is over. Seemingly, he wants a new deal that will pay him closer to the market value for his services. The team wasn’t keen on giving him one, which has caused the two sides to part ways.

While his play was close to elite in his first year with the team, last year was a slight step below the output he had in 2019. It was far from bad though, and it was still a huge upgrade from the days when the team was fielding the likes of Artie Burns and Cortez Allen as starters. Even with the slight regression in play, losing Nelson will be a tough blow to overcome.

The problem now becomes a severe lack of depth left by the departure of both Nelson and Mike Hilton this offseason. While the Steelers were able to retain Cameron Sutton, he has just eight games of starting experience, and Pittsburgh is still in desperate need of a full-time cornerback who can play on the outside.

Luckily for the Steelers, there are quite a few options that the team can replace Nelson with. There are a few options on the team, in free agency, and in the draft that could step in sooner than later to fill the void from Nelson. Again, trading him is a negative, but it is the reality right now. Thus, these are the 10 best candidates to replace him in 2021.