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Steelers release former first-rounder Justin Gilbert

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  • By Jeremy Bergman NFL.com
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Justin Gilbert's parade through the AFC North rages on.

The Pittsburgh Steelers released the cornerback on Monday after appearing in 12 regular-season games in 2016. Pittsburgh acquired Gilbert in a preseason trade with the Cleveland Browns, sending their division rivals just a 2018 sixth-round pick in return.

Highly touted coming out of college, Gilbert was drafted eighth overall by the Browns in 2014, but started just three games in two seasons by Lake Erie. In Pittsburgh, Gilbert was mostly relegated to kick return duties, returning six kicks for 112 yards in 14 games, including the postseason.

Gilbert's fall from first-round grace has been swift and brutal. His release was met with minimal surprise around the league and prompted a strong response from former Browns teammate Joe Thomas.

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