‘Difference of Opinion’ Prompts Steelers to Release Veteran DB: Report

Mike Tomlin

Getty Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin.

According to a May 10 report by Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, the Pittsburgh Steelers will be releasing veteran cornerback Arthur Maulet.

Less than an hour later, Brooke Pryor of ESPN reported much the same thing, while adding that the move comes in the wake of the seven-year veteran having requested his release.

Building on that news, Cameron Wolfe of NFL Network indicated “there was a difference of opinion” as to Maulet’s contract, without specifying the issue(s) in question.

That led Alan Saunders of Steelers Now to write: “A source close to the situation told Steelers Now that Maulet had been under the impression that despite signing a two-year contract in 2022, he would either be extended or released after the first season of the deal.”

Except that contract was signed while Kevin Colbert was still the team’s general manager. And with Omar Khan now running the show, it seems the Steelers were not inclined to extend Maulet. In fact, with all the added competition at his position group, he was no lock to even make the team in 2023.

Recall that Pittsburgh is currently in the midst of remaking its cornerback room, having signed Patrick Peterson and Chandon Sullivan in free agency while drafting Joey Porter Jr. and Cory Trice in the 2nd and 7th rounds of the 2023 draft, respectively.

Arthur Maulet: ‘Mike T. Kinda Took Me Under His Wing’

Never mind that Maulet had a mostly successful two-year stint in Pittsburgh, having originally inked a one-year contract with the Steelers in May 2021 after having previously played for the New Orleans Saints, Indianapolis Colts and New York Jets.

He went on to sign a second contract with the team — this time a two-year deal — in March 2022, and had a productive season last year. Specifically, he was on the field for 45% of Pittsburgh’s defensive snaps in 2022 and recorded 59 tackles, two sacks, one forced fumble, one interception and three passes defensed.

Along the way, Maulet made news several times, once after going on a locker room rant in the wake of an October 2022 beatdown (38-3) at the hands of the Buffalo Bills. Then, on the Oct. 27, 2022 edition of The Arthur Moats Experience podcast, he revealed that he originally planned to retire from the NFL after the 2021 season, but had a change of heart after “Mike T. kind of took me under his wing” and more clearly defined his role — as a nickel/slot cornerback.

Notably, Maulet earned $1.035 million in 2022, as per overthecap.com. He had been scheduled to earn $1.79 million in 2023. By virtue of releasing Maulet, the Steelers will incur a dead money cap charge of $500,000. That brings the total dead money on Pittsburgh’s 2023 salary cap to $11,778,814, according to Over the Cap.

After news of his impending release went public, Maulet took to Instagram to say ‘Thank You Pittsburgh.’

He also seemed to take a shot at the Steelers’ organization, writing: “I’m very thankful for everything but I wont sell my soul are (sic) change what I believe in… They gone paint the picture like I’m trippin #GODWINS”