The Steelers have added veteran cornerback Desmond King after the initial round of cutdowns, and by all accounts, this is a wise signing. King may not have turned into the elite player he flashed the ability to be early in his career, but he brings a capable veteran presence to a room that needs it.
As of this writing, the Steelers haven’t officially announced the news that Ian Rapoport first broke, and they also haven’t announced the corresponding cut that will need to take place to make room for King. While there is an impending move to be made at Punter, the Steelers also aren’t going to carry seven cornerbacks.
As well, I’m curious what the role of King will be for this defense. While the Steelers would be wise to slowly work King into a role, he is best suited in the slot (although he can also play on the outside). Does King become the full-time slot cornerback?
Steelers secondary is a question mark now
Looking first at who gets cut, my initial guess is Chandon Sullivan. He is only a slot cornerback and is likely behind Elijah Riley on the depth chart. James Pierre could also be cut, but I would expect a pure outside cornerback to take his spot.
Once King is acclimated to this defense, I’m guessing he will become more of a full-time slot cornerback. I’m fine with that, but it does potentially mean that one of Levi Wallace and Joey Porter will see more time on the bench as a result.
The expectation was for Patrick Peterson to play in the slot at times, allowing both Porter and Wallace to play along the outside. If King is working in the slot, Peterson will man one of the outside cornerback spots. That means there is only room for either Wallace or Porter.
Even with these questions now present, I’m still thrilled with this signing. The Steelers will need to work a few things out first though, starting with who is cut and how they plan on playing King. That said, this was another savvy move at a position of need, and I am thrilled to see him joining the Steelers.