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Steelers end Justin Gilbert experiment, release former first round cornerback

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The Pittsburgh Steelers got a look at former first round pick Justin Gilbert in 2016 and must not have liked what they saw.

NFL: AFC Divisional-Pittsburgh Steelers at Kansas City Chiefs Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers wanted to give Justin Gilbert a chance. When the Cleveland Browns were preparing to release the former first round cornerback, the Steelers offered them a trade. A future late round draft pick for the knowledge of the upside of Gilbert’s tangible skills.

The team got an up-close-and-personal look at Gilbert, and clearly didn’t like what they saw as they have released the cornerback Monday afternoon.

The release came at a surprise to some, and most just want to know why he wasn’t given a chance to possibly prove his worth in 2018 after being in the system for a year. The team doesn’t have to give a reason for waiving a player, and Gilbert was clearly healthy as he returned kickoffs in the AFC Championship game just a few weeks ago.

Ultimately, Gilbert wasn’t in the team’s plans anymore. With Artie Burns and Ross Cockrell both locking down their respective positions, Senquez Golson and William Gay hopeful to occupy the slot next season, and the fact the team will likely draft a cornerback in the upcoming draft, you have to wonder if Gilbert had a shot of even making the team next season.

The Steelers have been known to let players go sooner than later, if they know they won’t be on the team next season, to give them a chance to find work elsewhere.

Reports are stating the Steelers will save no salary cap space by waiving Gilbert, nor will they owe him anything in terms of dead money.

Stay tuned to BTSC as more information comes out surrounding this, and every story, relating to the black and gold.