Kevin Colbert has been very busy in recent weeks plugging holes on this roster. He has added both Melvin Ingram, and Trai Turner bolstering two very weak positions. There is still one more position that could use some veteran depth as the team opens up training camp. The Steelers corner back room is one in dire need of some upgrading.
The losses of both Steven Nelson and Mike Hilton have left a gaping hole in this team’s secondary. We presume that Cam Sutton will adequately fill one of these two positions. Sutton’s best position is probably in the slot. He has much more experience there, and it plays a vital role on what the Steelers do on defense. Unfortunately Cam Sutton may be forced to play on the outside given the options this team has at that position. Both James Pierre and Justin Layne are woefully inexperienced, with neither having a start under their belts.
The best case scenario for this team is that once again Kevin Colbert works his magic, and somehow finds a legitimate outside corner before the pre-season ends. This way the team is allowed to keep Cam Sutton in the slot where he is most affective. Here is a short list of possibilities for a future Steelers corner:
Admittedly this one is far less likely now, then when we had originally brought up the idea of Pittsburgh trading for Stephon Gilmore. Steelers trade for Stephon Gilmore: This could actually happen The Steelers have already used up most of the cap room they gained by cutting David DeCastro.
Gilmore is definitely available from all the reports out of New England. Word is he is looking for a lucrative extension from any team acquiring his services. It would take some very creative cap manipulation from Kevin Colbert to make this happen. This was a bit of a long shot to begin with, but for a team looking to make one last run Stephon Gilmore would be the absolute perfect fit for the Steelers.
Admittedly we have no idea why Gareon Conley is still on the free agent market. He is a former first round pick who is over six feet tall, and runs in the 4.4s. Usually this kind of pedigree has NFL general managers drooling. Missing the entire 2020 season certainly has something to do with the question marks surrounding this player.
This would seem to be a no-brainer signing for the Pittsburgh Steelers at this point in the off-season. This kind of cheap, young talent at corner is something this team can not afford to ignore. Why the Steelers haven’t made this move already is a bit of a mystery.
This is by no means a perfect fit for the Steelers. Richard Sherman is a better zone corner, and the Steelers like to play more man coverage. Add to this the recent off the field issues Sherman has had and this becomes even less likely.
Sherman is however a veteran corner with plenty of playoff experience. He still played at an acceptable level in 2020 for the 49ers. His recent arrest will only drive down the price for the former Pro-Bowl corner. This is the first real issue for an otherwise very good locker room presence, and shouldn’t be a concern in that aspect. For a team a bit desperate at corner, Pittsburgh should at least kick the tires here.
Old friend Steven Nelson is the best available corner on the market, and it’s really not close. It’s still unclear if there is any bad blood remaining from Nelson being cut by the Steelers just a few months ago. Maybe after sitting unsigned for a while will have changed Nelson’s view of what he is worth on the open market. Perhaps one of those one year deals with some phony years added on to drive down the cap number will be enough to entice him to come back. This is another long shot, but definitely one worth exploring for the Pittsburgh Steelers.