Justin Gilbert has found himself going from a bottom feeding team to the toast of the AFC North, as the former Cleveland Browns' cornerback was traded to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Pittsburgh addressed the signing of Gilbert in the following release:
The Steelers trimmed their roster to the league-mandated 53 players prior to today’s deadline of 4 p.m., and they also made a trade with the Cleveland Browns to add depth to the secondary.The Browns sent cornerback Justin Gilbert, once the eighth overall pick of the 2014 NFL Draft, to Pittsburgh in exchange for the Steelers’ sixth-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.
Gilbert, who played his college football at Oklahoma State, appeared in 23 games for the Browns with three starts during his two seasons in Cleveland. He had 29 tackles, nine passes defensed, and one interception, which he returned 23 yards for a touchdown.The trade will become final provided Gilbert passes a physical examination, and assuming he does pass the exam, Gilbert will join a 53-man roster that currently includes four other cornerbacks – Will Gay, Artie Burns, Senquez Golson, and Ross Cockrell. The inclusion of Golson on the initial 53-man roster indicates the Steelers are considering him as a possibility to be the guy to fill the IR-designated-to-return role. To do so, Golson will have to remain on the 53-man roster for 24 hours.
Gilbert, the 2014 No. 8 overall pick, netted the Browns a 2018 sixth-round pick, the team announced.
For Pittsburgh, Gilbert has the potential to be a low-risk, high-reward addition. While a disappointing start to his career has all but eliminated any expectations, it's possible a fresh start and new defensive scheme can help him realize his potential. The Steelers have a void at the position, and are looking to improve on a secondary that ranked 30th overall against the pass last season.
Gilbert started just three of his 23 games over the past two seasons, the Oklahoma State graduate has 39 tackles and an interception returned for a touchdown.
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