It seems as if the Pittsburgh Steelers are in a constant search for cornerbacks to help solidify the position every offseason. Some will suggest this isn’t a Steelers problem, but something all NFL teams experience, but Pittsburgh has been searching for a cornerback group which will finally make their pass defense a strength, and not the weak link to the team’s defense.
The question now isn’t will they address the position, they did so in free agency with Coty Sensabaugh and in the NFL Draft with Cameron Sutton and Brian Allen, but who will be there when all is said and done.
Outside of Artie Burns and Ross Cockrell, it seems as if the cornerback depth chart is up for grabs. With an infusion of young talent, some are wondering what will become of William Gay.
Gay, who played over 80-percent of the team’s defensive snaps in 2016, is aging and struggled at times last year covering players in the slot. However, Gay knows the defense and has the position flexibility to play both the inside and outside cornerback positions. But some people were wondering if the team could stretch his flexibility even further and move to more of a safety role, something several players have done in NFL history, including his position coach Carnell Lake.
Nonetheless, early in Organized Team Activities (OTAs) Gay has been back at home in the slot, according to Chris Bradford of the Beaver County Times.
The fact Gay is in the slot early in OTAs is hardly a glimpse into the future when the players put on pads and the games start counting, but how the position is handled in the future moving towards the regular season is certainly noteworthy.
Of those who could rip the position away from Gay, Senquez Golson and rookie Cameron Sutton would likely top the list. However, with Golson’s injury history and Sutton being a rookie, Gay could have the inside track, again, at being the starting slot cornerback for the Steelers when they put three defensive backs on the field.
In terms of financials, Gay is due to earn $2 million dollars in this year and $1.75 million in 2018. Needless to say, the cornerback camp battle could be one of the fiercest leading up to the 2017 regular season.