This 2021 offseason is looking to be a busy one for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Mostly because the Steelers are going to be trying to retain pieces of last year’s 12-4 football team in hopes of repeating a lot of the same success. They’ve also been mentioned as possible landing spots for a few free agents. Exciting, yes, but also stressful especially being in the Salary Cap situation this team is in. We expect the team to part ways with last year’s starting running back James Conner due to his performance the past two seasons, while Ben Roethlisberger has been vocal about wanting to return to the team (the two sides have yet to meet and the future is still up in the air). Adding to this, stars like, Bud Dupree, JuJu Smith-Schuster and Mike Hilton all have questionable futures with the team. These players will most likely carry top priority for the Steelers.
One guy missing from that list is cornerback Cam Sutton. He was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2017 NFL Draft by Pittsburgh, struggled for playing time in his first season, then garnered some playing time in his sophomore year — and hasn’t looked back since. I think Sutton is one of the most underrated guys on one of the top defenses in football, which kind of says a lot in itself. Yes, the secondary in the past hasn’t been flawless, but it seems like Sutton has been one of those guys that clearly makes an impact when he is on the field.
Sutton hasn’t been one to fill up the stat sheet in his previous seasons. While playing in a total of 52 NFL games, Sutton has only gotten the opportunity to start in 8 of them, but has managed to make an impact each time he’s gotten a chance. Although he’s shown that he has good pass coverage skills, Sutton really shines in his ability to tackle the ball carrier. He only has 3 total interceptions with 73 combined total tackles in his short 4-year career, but is coming off his best season yet in 2020. While starting in just 6 of the 16 games, Sutton got playing time in all 16 of them where he intercepted one pass, and had a total of 30 combined tackles.
His role I guess could be described as the plug in guy if you will. Sutton has the ability to compete with the guys on the outside but also has shown the ability to play a strong nickel back for this team as well. The reason why I use the term plug in guy, is because he has the ability to play every position that his group requires, and he did just that in 2020. Sutton filled the starting CB role when starter Joe Haden went down later in the season, as well as taking over the nickel back position when Hilton missed a good chunk of games during the middle of last season. The defense was missing their playmakers at that time, don’t get me wrong, but this defense really didn’t skip a beat with Sutton out there. This can’t be solely placed on his shoulders, the defense is filled with playmakers and that in turn helps everyone around them out. But when a guy steps up and fills these roles as well as he did, he gains some respect.
I’m not saying that Sutton should garner top priority this offseason, but I do think that the Steelers should give it some serious thought. Steven Nelson had a great first year as a Steeler, but didn’t seem to keep up that same type of production in 2020, and while he didn’t play bad at all, he might have just not met up to most expectations. We aren’t getting any younger at the position and we have been known to be very deep at that position. All I’m saying is that if you end up having the opportunity to sign Sutton back this offseason, I don’t think it would be one that the Steelers regret, especially with a guy who has that much upside.
Do you think Pittsburgh should consider bringing back Cam Sutton? Comment below!