3 things losing Steven Nelson would mean for the Steelers

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Curt Popejoy
·1 min read
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Based on today’s events, it seems just a matter of time until cornerback Steven Nelson is no longer a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers. The team has given permission for Nelson to seek a trade but in addition, reports say the team will go ahead and release Nelson if they cannot find any suitors.

So if we assume Nelson won’t be around at the start of the season, let’s talk about the three big things losing Nelson could mean for the team.

The team picked Joe Haden

(AP Photo/Don Wright)

If this move is ultimately about cutting costs, the Steelers could have just as easily decided to move on from Joe Haden instead. Haden is 31-years-old and arguably was outplayed by Nelson the last two seasons. Nevertheless, the front office is counting on the veteran leadership of Haden over Nelson's talent.

The team has confidence in their draft picks

Mitchell Layton-USA TODAY Sports

Let's be honest, the Steelers don't have the best track record for drafting cornerbacks. But if Nelson leaves, the Steelers will have two drafted cornerbacks, Cameron Sutton and Justin Layne in line to be the starter and slot cornerbacks for the 2020 season.

Defense is now the priority

Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Steven Nelson (22) signals incomplete during an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Matt Durisko)

With Nelson out, the Steelers will be minus five starters from last season. Pittsburgh minus two starting cornerbacks, two starting linebackers and one starting defensive lineman means from this point forward, if the team has any cap space to spare, it needs to go toward bolstering what was an elite NFL defense.

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