The only real surprise made by the Steelers on cutdown day was their trade for the troubled former first-round pick with the Cleveland Browns, ultra-athletic cornerback Justin Gilbert.
The Steelers traded a sixth-round pick in the 2018 draft for Gillbert, a 6-0 1/8, 202-pounder who ran a 4.37 40 and put up 20 bench reps at the 2014 NFL Combine.
The deal, of course, is contingent upon Gilbert passing a physical.
Gilbert, out of Oklahoma State, was a draft-day target of the Steelers two years ago, but the Browns drafted him with the eighth pick and he started only three games in two seasons.
Gilbert has one career interception -- which he returned 28 yards for a touchdown against the Indianapolis Colts -- but three weeks later, prior to the season finale in Baltimore, was suspended for being late to a team meeting after the team had checked into its hotel.
Vowing to turn his performance around, Gilbert instead started only one game last season and last week was placed in the concussion protocol.
Obviously, the Steelers believe Gilbert's athletic ability is worth the late draft pick.
At Oklahoma State, Gilbert intercepted five passes -- all during his sophomore season -- and returned six kickoffs for touchdowns with a career return average of 26.3.
With the Browns, Gilbert returned 12 kickoffs with an average of 28.3.
The Steelers also cut the following players Saturday:
Wide receivers Demarcus Ayers, Cobi Hamilton and Marcus Tucker, running backs Brandon Brown-Dukes and Cameron Stingily, offensive linemen Shahbaz Ahmed, Antoine Everett, Matt Feiler and Wade Hansen, cornerbacks Montell Garner, Doran Grant, Al-Hajj Shabazz and Donald Washington, defensive linemen Lavon Hooks, Caushaud Lyons and Johnny Maxey, linebackers Travis Feeney, Steven Johnson and Jermauria Rasco, quarterback Bryn Renner, and safety Ray Vinopal. The Steelers also waived/injured tight end Paul Lang.
Running back Le'Veon Bell will be placed on the Reserve/Suspended By Commissioner list at 4 p.m. today.
The Steelers can sign up to 10 practice squad players after 1 p.m. ET on Sunday, September 4.
The Steelers are also expected to place Senquez Golson on IR and replace him on the roster with a cornerback.
Some notes after the cuts:
* The Steelers no doubt hope Feeney, their sixth-round pick, and Ayers, their first seventh-round pick, make it through waivers so they can sign them to their practice squad.
* Seventh-round pick Tyler Matakevich beat Johnson, a free-agent acquisition, out for the final ILB roster spot.
* Jordan Dangerfield, after spending two seasons on the practice squad, made the roster and possibly did so with his strong performance Thursday night in Carolina.
* The trade for Gilbert is an attempt to bolster the depth issue in the secondary, but the Steelers still have a need for an in-line blocker at the tight end position.null