The Houston Texans have become a place for defensive backs to sign short-term deals, and cornerback Steven Nelson is no different.
The former Kansas City Chiefs 2015 third-round pick signed a two-year deal with the Texans worth $9 million in free agency. Nelson believes Houston is getting a cornerback that can infuse leadership.
“Leadership, experience, just being a guy that’s been there, been out there, playoff teams and just being in that atmosphere,” Nelson told reporters June 7 after organized team activities at Houston Methodist Training Center. “As you know we have a lot of young talent on the team so just kind of being able to be there and lead by example as much as I can.”
Nelson spent the past three seasons in Pennsylvania playing for the Keystone State’s two NFL teams: the Pittsburgh Steelers (2019-20) and the Philadelphia Eagles (2021). With the Eagles, Nelson started all 16 games played and picked off a pass, deflected seven others, and recorded 50 combined tackles.
Nelson doesn’t have any specific ties to the New England Patriots or the Tampa 2 scheme, but the 5-10, 194-pounder was an attractive option for general manager Nick Caserio and coach Lovie Smith.
“It’s been going well,” said Nelson. “Been here for probably about two months, maybe a little bit over that. We got great guys. Coach (Smith) did a great job getting guys in, and Nick, the guys that want to compete and get better and kind of have like-mindedness. It’s going really well right now.”
The Texans are working through their depth at cornerback that includes rookie Derek Stingley and slot corners Tavierre Thomas and Desmond King, who was willing to play on the outside in 2021. If the Texans can add stability to their boundary corners with Stingley and Nelson, it should allow other defensive backs to flourish.