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Steelers to sign former Texans All-Pro CB Desmond King II

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Desmond King II #0 of the Houston Texans runs back a kick off during the preseason game against the Miami Dolphins at NRG Stadium on August 19, 2023 in Houston, Texas. The Dolphins defeated the Texans 28-3. Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers are ready to make some more moves after narrowing down the roster from 90 to 53 ahead of Tuesday’s roster cut deadline. The Steelers are now expected to sign former Texans CB Desmond King II to the 53-man roster, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports. The team released backup punter Braden Mann in a corresponding roster move to make room on the 53-man roster, Brooke Pryor of ESPN reports.

Terms of the deal have yet to be reported.

King is entering his seventh NFL season, a fifth-round product of the 2017 NFL Draft selected by the Los Angeles Chargers. He earned All-Pro honors in his second season, having totaled three interceptions (including a pick-six), with additional contributions on special teams.

The move is a particularly interesting one, considering King’s primary role as a slot corner throughout his career, though he primarily played on the outside over the past two seasons with the Texans.

Given King’s versatility to play nickel corner or out wide, as well as contribute on special teams, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him displace veteran James Pierre on the roster. Though Pierre survived the initial cuts to the 53-man roster, his struggles in the preseason didn’t help his cause, having been one of the biggest liabilities in coverage for the Steelers in the three-game stretch.