3 remaining free agent options for Cleveland Browns ongoing need at cornerback
2. Steve Nelson
Steve Nelson has quietly been one of the better corners in the NFL over the last few seasons in Pittsburgh. The Steelers gave him a chance to find a trade, and when that did not happen, they were forced to cut him to help per salary cap issues.
The fact he is still on the market after so many solid seasons is likely money. The man himself recently tweeted he wants his worth. So while Breeland might challenge for the best corner on the market, he is likely looking up at Nelson.
He is also right about not being average. Over the last two years, Nelson has put up some substantial numbers. In 172 targets, per Pro Football Reference, Nelson had 17 passes defended over that span, allowed a completion percentage of 54.6, and allowed seven touchdowns.
Those seven touchdowns did come in 2020. He also made 109 tackles and missed only ten over those same two seasons. While 2020 was not as good as 2019, Nelson had a solid two-year run for the Steelers and would make a solid pickup for any secondary.
The problem once again for the Browns could be money. As pointed out earlier, Nelson is looking to get paid what he is worth, which might be too much for Cleveland. Nelson is considered an upper-tier starting corner, and the Browns might find the cash if they are not as confident as they seem with the health of a player like Greedy Williams. You don’t pay for a guy like Nelson if you don’t plan to start him.