Veteran cornerback Steven Nelson retires from NFL at 31

ByDJ Bien-Aime ESPN logo
Monday, June 10, 2024

HOUSTON -- Cornerback Steven Nelson is retiring from the NFL.

Nelson told KPRC-TV in Houston his decision Sunday after helping the Houston Texans make the playoffs in 2023, when he was second in interceptions (four) and pass deflections (12) on the team. In the Texans' wild-card win against the Cleveland Browns, he caught an interception in the third quarter and returned it for a touchdown to give the Texans a 31-14 lead.

"Retirement, after thinking it over and having some talks with my family, I think it's time for me to take a step back and spend more time with my family," Nelson said. "We're expecting a newborn this coming month, and I wanted to devote all of my time and energy to that and various business ventures off the field. I'm extremely proud of what I was able to do in the game of football."

Nelson, 31, played nine years after being drafted in the third round by the Kansas City Chiefs in 2015. After spending four seasons with the Chiefs, he signed a three-year $25 million deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers. He played two seasons in Pittsburgh, where he had three interceptions and 17 pass breakups before he was released in the summer of 2021.

Following Nelson's stint with the Steelers, he signed a one-year deal with the Philadelphia Eagles and finished with one interception that season. In 2022, he signed a two-year $10 million deal with the Texans and ended up with five interceptions and 19 pass breakups during his stint.

The former Oregon State standout finished his career with 13 interceptions, 78 pass breakups and 456 tackles.