2021 was always going to be Sutton’s year to show what he can do in an increased role.
The Pittsburgh Steelers have made a number of noteworthy moves at the cornerback position. While at some times the plan seemed murky, Cameron Sutton himself provided some clarity to Steelers fans. Brian Batko from the Pittsburgh Post Gazette quoted Sutton saying in exit meetings following the 2020 season, Steelers coaches told [Sutton] “he’d get the opportunity to play outside next year.”
Steelers cornerback Cam Sutton says that in exit meetings after the 2020 season the coaches told him he’d get the opportunity to play outside next year.
— Brian Batko (@BrianBatko) March 29, 2021
The biggest thing that stands out to me from the above statement is how the Steelers were planning on moving on from either Steven Nelson or Joe Haden months before they made their final decision. Once Sutton was back under contract, and the first free agent they signed might I add, they had the freedom to low ball Steven Nelson an extension. When it was declined, the Steelers were able to create much needed cap space whilst already having a replacement on roster for pennies of Nelson’s deal.
The next biggest stand out to me is the Steelers really don’t need to draft a corner very high at all. They have both of their outside guys hammered down with UDFA James Pierre as the primary backup. Finding a pure nickel corner may be tricky, but there are some options on the open market while also being a position that doesn’t need the most polished prospect to play on day one.
Sutton has never been the most physical defender, but he is very talented on the ball. Playing him on the outside is playing Sutton at his strengths. In bringing him back, the Steelers make sense of the move by putting him in the best chance to succeed. Over the past two seasons Sutton has allowed less than a 55% completion rate and 6.5 yards per reception or less.
Cam Sutton talks with @missi_matthews about re-signing, having an expanded role for the 2021 season, offseason training and more.@84LumberNews | Full : https://t.co/GBGllRd8zy pic.twitter.com/XOnFiw6AON
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) March 30, 2021
Kevin Colbert and the Pittsburgh Steelers have a plan, they always do. It may not be clear from the get go, but as time passes some clarity comes to the situation. Sutton’s words provided that. On another note, how refreshing is it for the Steelers to have drafted and developed a starting corner? Perhaps the monkey is finally off of their backs and can go back to that well with more consistency in the future.
But what do you think? Will Cameron Sutton have a successful season as the full time starting outside corner? Let us know your thoughts down in the comments below.
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