Steven Nelson, fairly easily the top free agent cornerback available, has signed a one-year deal with the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Pittsburgh Steelers are perpetually up against the salary cap, and with it not going up this year they had to cut cornerback Steven Nelson after giving him permission to seek a trade. Nelson remained available until Sunday, when ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported he has agreed to a one-year deal worth a little over $4 million with the Philadelphia Eagles.
Nelson spent the last two seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers, starting 30 games with totals of three interceptions, 17 pass breakups and 109 total tackles. Before that he spent his first four NFL seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs, starting 15 or more games in a season twice with 38 total starts in 52 games.
Over the last two seasons, Nelson has netted a top-12 grade from Pro Football Focus among qualified cornerbacks. Over that same span, he has allowed just 969 yards and five touchdowns in his coverage according to PFF.
Steven Nelson is a nice get for the Eagles
Through last year’s dismal 4-11-1 campaign, most of the headlines in Philadelphia centered on the struggles of quarterback Carson Wentz and his subsequent benching in favor of Jalen Hurts. But the defense wasn’t exactly great either though, finishing 20th in the league in points allowed (26.1 per game). They weren’t a complete disaster against the pass, allowing 237.4 yards per game (15th in the league), but their eight interceptions were better than just three teams in the league. They also allowed the fifth-highest passer rating in the league (102.4).
With how loaded the wide receiver groups in the rest of the NFC East look now, the Eagles still needed reinforcements in their secondary if they could find them. Nelson will now team with Darius Slay to give them two pretty good corners.