Agent: Steelers to release S Burnett by April 1

PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Steelers' big free-agent signing from 2018 lasted one season.

The Steelers have informed safety Morgan Burnett they will release him by April 1, as per the player's request, Burnett's agent, Kevin Conner, told ESPN's Adam Schefter.

The team and player discussed trade possibilities before the release, according to a source.

Burnett initially was told his release would occur Wednesday, but the Steelers say accounting issues will delay it another week. It was unclear to Burnett's representation as to why Burnett can't be released now, based on what they were told.

The Steelers have about $7.2 million in salary-cap space as of Friday, according to ESPN's Roster Management System. That doesn't include the new two-year, $12-million deal for linebacker Mark Barron, which probably will take up about $4 million of that cap space in 2019. The Steelers also want to extend quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who has one year left on his contract.

The Steelers signed Burnett, 30, to a three-year, $14.25 million contract last year that included a $4.25 million signing bonus. Burnett played eight seasons for the Green Bay Packers before hitting free agency.

He missed four of the first six games of the season due to injury, and the Steelers continued to start rookie Terrell Edmunds in his absence.

Burnett recorded 30 tackles and six pass deflections in a sub-package role over 11 games. Edmunds and third-year player Sean Davis occupied both starting safety spots for the season.

Burnett told NFL Network in the offseason that he wanted to be released because he wants to play safety instead of dime linebacker. The Steelers signed Barron as a starting linebacker who can also play Burnett's role in the dime package.

Pittsburgh's other early free-agent signing last year, linebacker Jon Bostic, is still with the team and could serve as a third linebacker with Barron and veteran Vince Williams. Bostic signed a more modest two-year, $4 million contract last March.

The Steelers have not yielded positive results from their big free-agent signings of late. Tight end Ladarius Green also lasted one season in Pittsburgh after signing a four-year, $20 million contract in 2016. He battled various injuries and eventually failed a physical.

The team signed cornerback Steven Nelson to a three-year, $25.5 million contract last week. He will start alongside Joe Haden.