The Pittsburgh Steelers boasted one of the best defenses in the NFL in 2020. Cornerback Steven Nelson proved to be a major part of that success, starting opposite of veteran defensive back Joe Haden.
But, the Steelers released the 28-year-old old earlier this offseason, in somewhat of an uncomfortable break-up. Hours before the organization made the move official, Nelson took to Twitter to plead with the organization to not hold him “hostage.”
“Making a public announcement is a little out of my character, but you guys made your decision please don’t hold me hostage,” Nelson wrote in late March.
The Steelers honored that wish soon after, letting go of Nelson with $8.25 million still left on his deal. But, the cornerback hadn’t had his last say until Tuesday.
Speaking on SiriusXM NFL Radio Nelson claimed that he went to team leadership and said he felt like he deserved an extension that could also help the Steelers cap situation. However, the front office didn’t feel the same way and told the 28-year-old he could seek a trade before ultimately releasing him.
Nelson made clear that he was never offered a pay cut to stay in Pittsburgh.
“I want to may it very clear … there was never a discussion of me taking a pay cut. I was never even given that opportunity to take a pay cut,” Nelson said, per The Athletic’s Mark Kaboly.
"I want to may it very clear … there was never a discussion of me taking a pay cut. I was never even given that opportunity to take a pay cut."
— Mark Kaboly (@MarkKaboly) April 6, 2021
Nelson’s quotes are surprising given his strong play on the Steelers for the last two years. In 15 starts in 2020, he totaled 48 tackles, two interceptions and nine passes defended.
As a result of a strong, six-year career in the NFL, Nelson added that he’s spoken to 10-15 teams interested him this offseason. With his pedigree, he should be able to land a new deal in the near future.