I’d imagine that most of you are in a full-blown black and gold lather right now being as it’s being widely reported that the Pittsburgh Steelers are currently the frontrunner to land former Cleveland Browns cornerback Joe Haden. It goes without saying that we shouldn’t be on the edge of our seats very long as Haden will almost assuredly sign with a new team within the next 24 hours. While we wait, however, let’s ponder which Steelers cornerback is most-likely to lose his roster spot should Haden ultimately land in Pittsburgh.
Ross Cockrell – Personally, I think Cockrell might be sweating right now. He hasn’t played well so far during the preseason and if ultimately overtaken by Coty Sensabaugh on the depth chart, he could find himself on the outside looking in should Haden land in Pittsburgh. Cockrell isn’t much of a special teams asset and certainly can’t play inside. To make matters worse, he’s scheduled to earn $1.797 million in 2017 and thus releasing him would help the Steelers absorb whatever they might ultimately sign Haden for.
Mike Hilton – The Steelers 2017 training camp and preseason darling looks like a roster lock right now. With that said, the undersized former undrafted free agent isn’t experienced and is only slot-capable to boot. If Cockrell doesn’t go, perhaps Hilton will find himself waived and potentially on the Steelers practice squad by next week should Haden sign with the Steelers.
William Gay – Would the Steelers really cut Gay if Haden were ultimately signed? I suppose it’s possible but with rookie draft pick Cameron Sutton still needing some polishing and Haden, if ultimately signed, likely to play on the outside, Gay could still open the regular season as the team’s starting slot cornerback. While he is on the wrong side of 30 years of age, Gay can still get it done on special teams as well. Additionally, he can be an emergency safety option should the need ever arise during a game.
Coty Sensabaugh – The Steelers signed Sensabaugh to a two-year free agent contract this year and that alone leads one to believe his job would still be safe should the team ultimately sign Haden. Sensabaugh has more position flexibility than Cockrell does and while not a special teams demon by any stretch of the imagination, his play in that phase of the game is still likely stronger than Cockrell’s.