3 things Steelers must do after cutting CB Steven Nelson

Steven Nelson #22 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Steven Nelson #22 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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The Steelers recently cut cornerback Steven Nelson. Here are three things Pittsburgh must do to ensure success in the secondary in 2021.

With 19 unrestricted free agents heading into the 2021 offseason, the Steelers couldn’t afford to lose any quality player still under contract. Unfortunately, Pittsburgh seems to have backed itself into a corner. After finding an opportunity to keep wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster around for at least one more year, the Steelers made it public knowledge that they would be cutting starting cornerback Steven Nelson if they could not find a trade partner for him.

On Tuesday afternoon, the team showed that they were serious about these comments, and Nelson has officially been released from the team. After losing both Nelson and Mike Hilton this offseason, Pittsburgh has some serious questions that need to be answered in their secondary so that they don’t have a gaping hole in their defense this year. Here are three things the Steelers must do after cutting Steven Nelson:

Sign a veteran cornerback

I really wish this move to cut Nelson would have come earlier in the offseason. By waiting this long after the start of free agency, there have already been more than 20 cornerbacks signed to new deals as of Tuesday afternoon, according to Spotrac.com, and Pittsburgh might have missed out on a chance to replace Nelson with another quality veteran. While adding a high-profile player like Richard Sherman seems out of the question (unless the Steelers are willing to part with another starter), they can still find a veteran who can offer some sense of security in 2021.

Players like D.J. Hayden, Brian Pool, and Quinten Dunbar are all possible options that could come at a reasonable price. Pittsburgh could also get this to work by keeping the player’s cap hit reasonable for the 2021 season and pushing more money into the following years. I know that isn’t ideal, but with just 8 NFL starts between Cameron Sutton, Justin Layne, and James Pierre, they may want to consider adding a veteran.