Steelers Grant Veteran Starter's Release Request After 'Hostage' Tweet

By Jason Hall

March 23, 2021

The Pittsburgh Steelers have granted Steven Nelson's release request less than an hour after the veteran cornerback told the team not to "hold me hostage" on social media Tuesday (March 23.)

The move also comes one week after the Steelers granted Nelson permission to seek a trade, but couldn't find a partner, so instead released him to save $8.25 million in cap space, ESPN reports.

Nelson confirmed the move on social media, expressing his gratitude to "a Class A organization from top down."

"Pittsburgh much love I appreciate the opportunity and the relationships I gained along the way Respect to a Class A organization from top down," Nelson tweeted. "Thank you to my day 1 supporters and can’t forget my haters you motivate me more than you know #nelsonisland."

Nelson's previous tweet had a much different tone.

"Making a public announcement is a little out of my character, but you guys made your decision please don’t hold me hostage #dontholdmeback," Nelson shared prior to his release.

Nelson signed with the Steelers as a free agent in 2019, signing a three-year, $25.5 million contract -- which was the most lucrative free agent signing in franchise history for the first week of unrestricted free agency -- following four seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs.

The former Oregon State standout started in 30 games during two seasons in Pittsburgh, recording three interceptions, 95 solo tackles, 2 tackles for loss and 2 fumble recoveries.

Nelson is now the fifth defensive starter to leave the Steelers this offseason, joining Tyson Alualu, Mike Hinton, Bud Dupree and Vince Williams, all of whom were either released or signed elsewhere as free agents.

Pittsburgh currently has starting cornerback Joe Haden under contract and re-signed fifth-year cornerback Cameron Sutton, who may now fill in as Nelson's replacement at the other starting cornerback spot.

Photo: Getty Images

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