Burns Competes For Starting Role After Receiving Roster Bonus

The Steelers corner saw first team reps at Sunday's practice

Shelby Cassesse
July 29, 2019 - 2:04 pm
Steelers CB Artie Burns stretches during the team's OTA

Josh Rowntree

LATROBE (93.7 The Fan) - Steelers cornerback Artie Burns admitted Monday he was uncertain about his future with the Steelers headed into training camp.

The Steelers seemingly gave Burns a vote of confidence Sunday when they paid him his $800,000 roster bonus. While it doesn't guarantee Burns a spot on the 53-man roster, it is an investment in a player who began the 2018 season in a starting role with the Steelers and ended it seeing little to no defensive snaps per game. After Week 6 in Cincinnati, Burns only started one more game and spent the majority of his playing time on special teams. The Steelers did not exercise the fifth-year option on Burns' rookie contract. 

"I wasn't really too much worried about that," Burns said of earning his roster bonus. "I didn't know what my future was with this team coming into the spring, so with me being here I just keep working; not too really focused on stuff like that." 

Asked why he felt like his future was uncertain with the team, Burns responded "that's an obvious question."

Burns said he felt a strong spring performance helped to secure the money. He also made changes to his offseason routine, spending the majority of it in Pittsburgh rather than Miami. 

"I did a couple things different, training-wise for the better," he said. "Just keep getting better every day." 

Burns received first team reps Sunday with Joe Haden taking a lighter practice and made his first interception of training camp. 

Now in his fourth NFL season, Burns will likely compete with Cameron Sutton and Steve Nelson for the starting cornerback job on the right side. Sutton played in 15 games for the Steelers last season, making  22 tackles with one interception and one forced fumble. Nelson started every game with the Kansas City Chiefs last season, including two playoff games. He made 73 tackles and had four interceptions. 

Hear Monday's full interview with Artie Burns below.