Steven Nelson says Steelers didn’t give him a chance to take a pay cut

Pittsburgh Steelers v Cleveland Browns
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The Steelers abruptly released cornerback Steven Nelson last month, after giving him a chance to seek a trade. The team did not give Nelson a chance to take a pay cut before cutting him.

I want to make it very clear,” Nelson said on SiriusXM NFL Radio, via Mark Kaboly of, “there was never a discussion of me taking a pay cut. I was never even given that opportunity to take a pay cut.”

It’s unclear whether Nelson would have accepted less than the $8.25 million he was due to earn this season. He said that he wanted an extension, one that would have created cap space while acknowledged that he had outperformed his contract. Eventually, he simply wanted out, pleading with the team on social media to not hold him hostage.

Nelson’s line surely was influenced by the mantra from coach Mike Tomlin, “We can’t do this with hostages, man. We need volunteers.” Regardless, he didn’t get a chance to volunteer to remain on the team for less money.

Nelson added that 10 to 15 teams have serious interest in his services. Given that the draft is only 23 days away, it’s possible at this point that Nelson’s best opportunity for a new team will come after interested teams address their needs at the position, or not, via incoming rookies.

7 responses to “Steven Nelson says Steelers didn’t give him a chance to take a pay cut

  1. Well logically if he felt he outplayed his current contract and made his thoughts known on that and that he wanted an extension, why would they go to him to ask about a pay cut when hes already voiced to them hes worth more than his current contract?

  2. Sounds like he thought he outperformed his contract but after asking to be cut found out nobody was willing to pay him what he woulda made.

    Let agents do their job.

  3. If your wife doesn’t give you a chance to work things out and just up and leaves you odds are she didn’t like you very much to begin with. Just sayin.

  4. In his defense, Nelson was solid as a CB for the Steelers. Had the pandemic not depressed the cap for 2021, good chance he’d still be with the team. Not mentioned in the article, but he also mentioned in the same interview that he has no hard feelings toward the team and realized that it was a business decision, so doesn’t sound like either side walked away with ill will toward the other.

  5. Nelson got much better in my opinion because of the work with the Steelers coaches teaching him technique. He is way better than when he showed up in Pitt. He shouldn’t have hard feelings toward the team. They like many other teams are strapped for salary cap dollars. It’s not personal. Pittsburgh has him in their estimation, getting paid more than they can afford. I am sure they would rather have him than not.

  6. When keeping it real goes wrong – The Steve Nelson episode

    No one talked about Nelson performing above his contract when he was cut.

    No one talked about Nelson as a hot commodity on the FA market.

    No one talked about Nelson being someone the Steelers should extend when he was cut.

    Other cornerbacks have signed deals since he was cut, like Adoree Jackson.

    Hopefully he does get a deal, and it’s a good one, but where’s he’s at is his fault.

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