Steelers Bring Back Former Browns DB

For the second time in less than a month, the Pittsburgh Steelers have signed defensive back Nate Meadors.

Steelers.com’s Teresa Varley reported the team signed Meadors to a reserve/future contract on February 2. With the contract agreement, Meadors will participate in offseason workouts with the Steelers.

Pittsburgh first signed the veteran defensive back to its practice squad on December 27. The team released Meadors after the playoff loss to the Buffalo Bills on January 9

Meadors joins the Steelers again after spending two weeks with the Cleveland Browns during 2023 training camp.

Meadors has played in just three NFL regular season games, but he still has quite a bit of experience. The 2024 season will be his sixth NFL campaign since being an undrafted free agent in 2019.

The Minnesota Vikings signed Meadors following the 2019 NFL draft. While the team signed and released him multiple times, he spent the 2019 and 2020 seasons with the Vikings.

In 2019, he appeared in two games, playing 11 defensive snaps and 23 snaps on special teams. Then in 2020, he lined up for 14 special teams snaps in one contest.

Meadors finished the 2020 season with the Jacksonville Jaguars. In 2021, he spent time with the Philadelphia Eagles in training camp. Other than the Steelers and Browns, he’s also signed with the New York Giants and Tennessee Titans since then.

Meadors played for UCLA in college from 2015-18. He had 149 total tackles, including 4 tackles for loss, 3 interceptions, 19 pass defenses in 38 college games.

By no means should Meadors be viewed as the final missing piece for Pittsburgh’s secondary. But cornerback is a thin position for the Steelers entering free agency, so any additional bodies at the position is a good thing.

Cornerbacks Levi Wallace, James Pierre, Chandon Sullivan and Elijah Riley will all be free agents in March. Furthermore, veteran Patrick Peterson could be a cut candidate for the Steelers to save $6.85 million against the salary cap.

Entering 2024, Peterson is six years removed from his last Pro Bowl season and will turn 34 in July.

With those possible departures, PFF has floated the Steelers as a possible landing spot for potential Kansas City Chiefs free agent cornerback L’Jarius Sneed. The Bleacher Report NFL scouting department also connected the Steelers to New England Patriots cornerback Jonathan Jones through a trade.

“Jonathan Jones is 30 years old, and the Patriots are in rebuild mode,” Bleacher Report wrote. “They might be willing to part with the veteran if it gives them an extra pick in the draft and saves money.”

Other than Peterson, the Steelers have notable cornerbacks Joey Porter Jr., Darius Rush and Cory Trice Jr. under contract for the 2024 season.

The No. 32 overall pick from 2023, Porter appears to be Pittsburgh’s next great shutdown corner. The Steelers also had high hopes for Trice, a seventh-round pick in 2023, before he suffered a torn ACL during training camp in August.

The Steelers also have cornerbacks Josiah Scott, Luq Barcoo, Kalon Barnes, and Thomas Graham Jr. under contract for 2024. Meadors will likely compete with that group of cornerbacks for a depth role in Pittsburgh next season.

Gideon Canice

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