Steelers Now Employ 3 Vikings CBs from 2022

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The cornerback section of the Pittsburgh Steelers depth chart can be dubbed Minnesota Vikings East in good faith.

During free agency in March and April, Pittsburgh added two veteran ex-Vikings corners, Patrick Peterson and Chandon Sullivan.

Steelers Now Employ 3 Vikings CBs from 2022

And late last week, the Steelers made it official with another former Vikings corner, tweeting, “We have signed DB Kalon Barnes to the practice squad.”

Steelers Now Employ
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The Green Bay Packers also worked out Barnes in early September, but no deal came together. Fast forward a couple of weeks, and Barnes joined a haven of ex-Vikings that includes head coach Mike Tomlin, the aforementioned Peterson and Sullivan, plus center Mason Cole. A mini-Vikings party, indeed.

Barnes, 24, was on the outside looking in during Vikings roster trimdowns last month and did not get an invitation to the practice squad like 16 others.

Tennessee Titans wide receiver Racey McMath (13) is tackled by Minnesota Vikings safety Jay Ward (20) and cornerback Kalon Barnes (27) at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn., Saturday, Aug. 19, 2023. © Andrew Nelles / The Tennessean / USA TODAY NETWORK.

Last December, the Vikings grabbed Barnes from the Miami Dolphins practice squad. He experienced special teams action down the stretch of 2022 for the Vikings against the New York Giants (regular season game) and Chicago Bears. The Baylor alumnus was then retained by general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah this offseason and battled for a roster spot at training camp and in the preseason, to no avail.

Pro Football Network ranked the league’s fastest players in July, and Barnes made the cut — at No. 2. His 4.23 forty at the 2022 NFL Combine was the fastest by any defensive player in the event’s history.

Purple Rumor Mill: A New Speed Goblin, Mike Zimmer and Colorado, Dantzler
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During the draft process, few traits excite onlookers more than speed. Of course, the track record for “fastest guy in the draft” rarely translates to automatic stardom in the pros. But the sizzle of a team adding a weapon with comic-book speed is indeed enchanting. Sizzling speed is Barnes’ dance. Barnes played all four years at Baylor, tallying 3 interceptions in 35 collegiate games.

On Peterson, he played his first game as a Steeler a week ago, tallying a 63.2 Pro Football Focus grade and allowing 2 touchdowns in a blowout loss to the San Francisco 49ers. Sullivan didn’t fare much better, grading a 58.3 score from PFF.

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Barnes is not on the Steelers active roster but could get the nod if CB injuries arise.

The Steelers host the Cleveland Browns on Monday Night Football, and Peterson and Sullivan will patrol Tomlin’s defense, seeking to avoid an 0-2 hole, where the Vikings live through two games.

Pittsburgh has started a season 0-2 just once in the last decade.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

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