Justin Gilbert released by Steelers after one season with team

The Steelers released cornerback Justin Gilbert today, less than six months after they acquired the former first-round pick in a trade with the Cleveland Browns. Gilbert failed to make any significant impact defensively, playing nearly exclusively on special teams in 12 games with Pittsburgh. He recorded just three total tackles for the Steelers. The veteran safety and Cleveland native didn't appreciate the lack of maturity Gilbert showed in two seasons with the orange and brown.

Gilbert never found a regular role in Pittsburgh's defense. Gilbert only saw action as a kick returner for Pittsburgh, and my assumption was that the coaching staff would try to work with him this offseason to see if he can help them at cornerback.

Gilbert appeared in 12 games in a black and gold uniform in 2016. The other 112 snaps he played came on special teams. From a depth standpoint, the trade made sense as the Steelers were short of experienced players in the secondary and once Artie Burns, the rookie corner, went down with an injury early on in the season, not many were surprised when the Steelers went out and brought in another corner.

Even though he didn't work out in Pittsburgh, Steelers fans shouldn't be too bummed out.

In August, the Steelers traded a 2018 sixth-round pick to the Cleveland Browns in exchange for Gilbert, who went eighth overall in the 2014 National Football League draft out of Oklahoma State. At least they did not give up a high draft pick and can now look to the 2017 draft to find a better replacement for Gilbert.

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