Cornerback Steven Nelson is a hostage no more as the team has now terminated his contract.
Nelson, who was given permission to seek a trade a few days, took to social media on Tuesday asking the team not to hold him hostage now that the decision had been made not to retain him.
Nelson was set to earn $8.25 million in 2021, the final year of his contract. In March of 2019, Nelson signed a three-year contract with the Steelers that totaled out at $25.5 million and included a $7.5 million signing bonus. The Steelers restructured Nelson’s contract ahead of the 2020 league year last March as well.
In his two seasons with the Steelers, Nelson played in 30 total regular season games and registered three interceptions, 17 defensed passes and 109 total tackles.
This situation with Nelson come out of the blue and moved fast as it seemed like the Steelers were poised to at least let him play out the final year of his contract in 2021 as of just a few weeks ago. In fact, it seemed plausible that Nelson might even sign a contract extension at some point during this offseason.
The fact that the Steelers were unable to trade Nelson these last few days isn’t overly surprising due to the fact he was scheduled to earn $8.25 million in 2021 and that he was in the final year of his contract. The Chicago Bears tried to trade Kyle Fuller recently but ultimately terminated his contract after being unable to find a team willing to trade for his $13 million salary charge in 2021.
The result in the Steelers cutting Nelson clears $7.47 million in 2021 salary cap space after top 51 roster displacement takes place. The Steelers will have a dead money charge of $6.17 million in 2021 for Nelson as a result of them parting ways with him.
UPDATE: Nelson has now tweeted his goodbyes.
Pittsburgh much love I appreciate the opportunity and the relationships I gained along the way Respect to a Class A organization from top down. Thank you to my day 1 supporters and can’t forget my haters you motivate me more than you know🎯 #nelsonisland
— Steve Nelson (@Nelson_Island) March 23, 2021