Steven Nelson remains a free agent following his release from the Pittsburgh Steelers in March, but the veteran cornerback may not remain unemployed for much longer.
ESPN's Jeremy Fowler reported 14 teams have reached out to Nelson, with the Buffalo Bills, Chicago Bears, Cincinnati Bengals, Houston Texans and Philadelphia Eagles among those showing interest.
His release from Pittsburgh came after he signaled a desire to leave. ESPN's Adam Schefter had reported in March the Steelers had granted him permission to explore potential trade destinations:
The move saved $8.3 million against the salary cap for the 2021 season.
"In Steve Nelson’s case, Steve was a valuable player for us," general manager Kevin Colbert told reporters in April. "However, we had to make some tough salary-cap related decisions that I mentioned earlier. Steve Nelson is a starter-capable NFL corner. We just couldn’t keep him under the current setup that we had or the current setup that we’re dealing with from a salary cap standpoint, and we had to make some tough choices."
Nelson finished with 48 total tackles, nine pass breakups and two interceptions in 15 games with the Steelers in 2020.
Fowler's report makes the level of interest from each of the 14 teams somewhat unclear since things may have changed after the 2021 NFL draft.
The five franchises identified didn't address the cornerback position early, however. The Bills (Rachad Wildgoose) and Bears (Thomas Graham Jr.) both used sixth-round picks on the position, while the Eagles spent a fourth-rounder on Zech McPhearson.
Nelson is one of a few veteran cornerbacks still on the board. Richard Sherman, Bashaud Breeland and Brian Poole all still unsigned.