The Pittsburgh Steelers are currently looking to trade cornerback Steven Nelson as of Friday and while surprising, one would think that they’ll be able to find a partner to take him off their hands in the next week. What, however, can we expect the Steelers to get in return for Nelson should they find a team willing to deal for him?
For starters, Nelson is currently only under contract through the 2021 season so that’s a bit of a handicap when it comes to trading him now. Additionally, he’s set to earn $8.25 million in 2021 and that would be a cap charge that would be rough for most teams to absorb right now with the league-wide number going down considerably this year. While a team interested in Nelson could work out a contract extension with the cornerback before acquiring him, one must wonder what one would look like. $11 million per season in new money? More? I seriously doubt that Nelson would take less than $9 million per year right now, quite honestly.
Should a team surface that’s willing to essentially rent Nelson for one year at $8.25 million, it’s hard to image that team willing to give up more than a fifth-round draft pick to do so. To me, if the Steelers received a fifth-round draft pick or better for Nelson, that would be a huge return overall.
Maybe the Steelers could trade Nelson to a team for a lower round draft pick and a young player sill on his rookie contract? If that were the course, it sure would be nice if the Steelers could get a blocking tight end still on his first contract from a team as part of the deal. The incoming player, assuming he is still on his rookie deal, wouldn’t hurt the salary cap situation, either.
The worst-case scenario would be the Steelers not being able to find any team willing to trade for Nelson. If that’s what winds up happening, the team would likely just terminate his contract. Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert would probably settle for seventh-round draft pick to avoid that needing to be the course of action.
The Chicago Bears are attempting to trade cornerback Kyle Fuller right now as well. He’s due to earn up to $14 million in 2021, the final year of his current contract. He’s 29 years of age as well. In short, it will be interesting to see if the Bears get any takers on Fuller. Personally, teams could get a better bargain by trading for Nelson instead.
In closing, it will be interesting to see how this plays out with Nelson. I’m expecting a low return via trade, in short, a late fifth-round or later. Should the Steelers get more than that, I will consider it a huge win for the organization.