Now that the 2021 offseason has begun, following yet another year of disappointment, a fourth consecutive season with no postseason victories, it’s time to take stock of where the Pittsburgh Steelers stand. Specifically where Steelers players stand individually based on what we are seeing over the course of the offseason as it plays out. We will also be reviewing players based on their previous season and their prospects for the future.
A stock evaluation can take a couple of different approaches and I’ll try to make clear my reasonings. In some cases it will be based on more long-term trends. In other instances it will be a direct response to something that just happened. So we can see a player more than once over the course of the season as we move forward.
Player: CB Cameron Sutton
Stock Value: Up
Reasoning: The four-year veteran had his best and most plentiful season in 2020, making numerous starts both inside in place of Mike Hilton and outside in place of both Steven Nelson and Joe Haden when starters were not available.
Perhaps it’s not likely that he is going to have a robust and sprawling market, but Cameron Sutton almost certainly earned himself some money with his playing time and performance during the 2020 season. He logged over 500 defensive snaps, for starters, which was by far the most in his career, and he produced when he was on the field as well.
A former third-round draft pick, Sutton actually spent most of his rookie season on the Reserve/Injured List, and then he kind of got thrown into the fire, starting against the New England Patriots, which went—reasonably okay, though he did allow a touchdown.
He was not in a position to take over a starting job, however, and that was an issue the following year when Artie Burns was benched, which resulted in Coty Sensabaugh becoming a starter in 2018, not exactly ideal all around.
The following season, he began to see somewhat regular playing time as a dime defender, and as a spot starter both inside and outside. This past season was more of the same, only at a higher level of performance, which resulted in 30 tackles, a sack, an interception, eight passes defensed, and three forced fumbles.
Now an unrestricted free agent, I don’t expect there are going to be any teams looking for him to come in and start, though perhaps somebody will be looking at him as a starting nickel. One hopes, for the Steelers’ sake, that he gets overlooked and they can retain him for cheap as the very valuable utility man that he is, with the upside of perhaps being more if necessary—in other words, a full-time starter.