With NFL free agency a little over a week away, the Pittsburgh Steelers have some players stye may want to re-sign. One of them is cornerback Cameron Sutton who after a good season playing on the outside has turned some heads. Today, CBS Sports ranked him as the third best cornerback free agent.
Writing for CBS Sports, Tyler Sullivan referenced Sutton’s career high numbers and his low passer rating against in calling Sutton the third best cornerback set to hit the market.
“Sutton is a young corner hitting the market at the perfect time,” wrote Sullivan. “He’s also coming off the most productive season of his career, notching a career-high 15 pass breakups and three interceptions in 2022. Not only that, but quarterbacks completed just 47.9% of their passes against Sutton in coverage and boasted a measly 65.3 passer rating. If teams buy into Sutton as an ascending player and that what we saw last year from him will be more of the norm, he could get paid handsomely.”
Only ranked behind James Bradberry from the Philadelphia Eagles and Jamel Dean from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Sutton has quickly become one of more well-respects cornerbacks in the league. However, it wasn’t always like that for Sutton.
In his first few seasons with Pittsburgh, Sutton played slot cornerback behind Mike Hilton. Sutton developed in his first couple of seasons before taking off in 2019 when he allowed his lowest passer rating against to date of 54.1 and not allowing a touchdown. Sutton continue bed his good play in 2020 which then saw him rewarded with a contract extension.
However, despite playing in the slot for his first four seasons, in 2021 Sutton kicked to the outside as Hilton left in free agency and Steven Nelson asked to be released. Sutton struggled adjusting to the outside in 2021, but the past season played at the level Steelers fans saw in 2019 and 2020.
Sutton is Pittsburgh’s best cornerback and he can play both on the outside and in the slot. His re-signing is very important as without him the Steelers secondary looks much weaker and it already is the weakest part of Pittsburgh’s defense.
With free agency beginning on March 15, the Steelers must find a way to the re-sign Sutton. Luckily for them, general manager Omar Khan said he feels good about how contract negotiations are going. While the Steelers are likely going to draft a cornerback in the NFL Draft, that doesn’t mean Sutton should not be brought back. Having a veteran who knows the system and knows how to play cornerback at a high level in Pittsburgh would be good to show a rookie the ropes and mentor him.
With Pittsburgh prioritizing winning on the strength of their defense, bringing back Sutton should be a no brainer. They will need all the talent to stop the gauntlet that is the AFC which is full of elite quarterbacks and losing homegrown talent is not the way to stop players like Joe Burrow, Patrick Mahomes, and Josh Allen.