While very few players released last week around the NFL came to a surprise after teams pared their active rosters to 53 players, there was one move that actually shocked some personnel sources.
And that one was when the Houston Texans decided to part ways with veteran CB Desmond King.
Desmond King Offers the Steelers Versatility
“That one seemed to come out of left field, at least to us,” an NFL scouting source said this past weekend. “He was one of the highest-graded nickels we saw [on tape last season].”
— Steelers Live (@SteelersLive) September 4, 2023
King, now in his seventh season in the NFL, originally signed a one-year, $3 million deal with the Texans in March of 2021, and because he played so well, the team re-signed him for two years and $7 million ($3.5 million fully guaranteed) the following March.
Yet, despite playing well last season and having the ability to play inside or outside at cornerback, the Texans decided to cut the veteran defensive back.
The Steelers already have two players who are capable of handling the team’s nickel role (Elijah Riley and Chandon Sullivan), so it’s possible that Pittsburgh plays King on the outside where they lack depth.
A source with knowledge of the situation said that seventh-round rookie CB Cory Trice, who suffered a torn ACL during a training camp practice in early August, was doing exceptionally well and was a leading candidate to be one of the team’s top backup outside players at the position.