(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Former Steelers cornerback Steven Nelson was on SiriusXM NFL Radio today and cleared up some of the matters regarding his release from the Steelers. Nelson said it was a trade or release situation and there was nothing else to it. The Steelers were up against the salary cap and saved $8.25 million in cap space by parting ways with Nelson.
"And I just want to make it very clear to those out there who might not know, or assuming that there was never a discussion with me being able to take a pay cut. I was never even given that opportunity to take a pay cut," Nelson said. "So it was either a trade or release."
Nelson also said he and his agent thought he outplayed his contract and was due for a contract extension, but the Steelers thought he was expendable during the prime of his career.
Nelson says he has about 10-15 teams that have reached out to him with serious interest.
According to Dale Lolley of DKPittsburghSports, Nelson didn't want to compete with Cam Sutton for a starting spot with the team in 2021. The Steelers promised Sutton when he was re-signed that he would be given an opportunity to compete for a starting spot on the outside. And the Steelers weren't going to have him compete against Joe Haden. The competition was going to be between Nelson and Sutton. Nelson didn't feel like he should have to compete for a starting job and asked to be traded or released.
It would be interesting to hear the Steelers' side of the story, but that might never come to fruition. Nelson revealed why he was released and Lolley heard that part of the release had to do with him not wanting to compete with Sutton for a starting cornerback spot on the outside.
Nelson took issue with Lolley's report on Twitter tonight, as he asked him if he was spreading rumors.
Update: Nelson sent a direct message to Lolley tonight denying the report that he didn't want to compete for a starting job with Sutton and asked to be traded or released. Lolley wrote a story about what Nelson told him on DKPittsburghSports.
"They promised Cam, meaning they would let me go bc they can’t keep me at a high number nobody ever called me and told me that," Nelson told Lolley via direct message.
Nelson also said he wasn't running away from competition with Sutton.
"Why would the highest-paid corner ride the bench?" Nelson said in a DM.
"Believe me, that’s not what I was told so get your facts straight I’ve never ran from any comp and no knock on Cam but I’m the best, was best corner on that team. This is simply called a cap casualty situation."