Cornerback Ross Cockrell signed his free agent tender with the Pittsburgh Steelers. His new one-year contract is worth just under $2 million. Cockrell spent the previous two seasons with the Steelers.
Ross Cockrell signed his tender today. Had until Friday to sign with another team. He's back on one-year deal worth almost $2 million.
— Ray Fittipaldo (@rayfitt1) April 17, 2017
Ross Cockrell Signs Free Agent Tender
Cockrell served as the Steelers number two or three corner for most of the previous two seasons. In 2016, Cockrell was not able to come away with any interceptions but defended 14 passes. He had one fumble recovery and 47 tackles on the season.
Over his three-year career (played seven games in Buffalo for the Bills in 2014), he played in 38 games and started 23 of those. He’s got two interceptions, 25 passes defensed, two fumble recoveries, a forced fumble, and 81 tackles.
The Steelers brass, especially Mike Tomlin, was high on Cockrell in the 2014 draft as a later round pick until the Bills scooped up the Duke product in the fourth round (109th overall). He was the highest overall pick out of Duke since Lennie Friedman in 1999 when he went 61st overall.
He signed the rookie four-year deal he was given and played one season in Buffalo before being cut in August of 2015 during training camp. Only five days prior to their opening game, the Steelers signed him.
The first interception of his young career came against Joe Flacco and the Baltimore Ravens in which he returned 37 yards. The next week, he had a season high seven tackles in one game against the San Diego Chargers.
Cockrell played his high school football at Latin High School in Charlotte, NC. He made the all-state and all-conference teams twice each. Cockrell was an integral part in leading his team to the state championships. He played some wide receiver and also ran track. He won a few state titles for events such as the 100 meters and 400 meters.
According to Rivals.com, Cockrell was given a three-star ranking and named the 76th best cornerback prospect of his class.