The Pittsburgh Steelers are back in the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex earlier than they had anticipated, having been ousted from the postseason in the opening round, which unfortunately marks a slight improvement from the past two seasons, during which they did not even qualify for the playoffs altogether. They have now done four seasons without securing a victory beyond regular season play.
Yet again, they find themselves undergoing the exit meeting process earlier than anticipated, which means so are we.
They did manage to go 12-4 during the regular season, and secured their first AFC North title since 2017, posting a new franchise record by opening the season with 11 consecutive wins, but of course it all fell apart after that. Their only victory after that required a 17-point comeback.
While we might not know all the details about what goes on between head coach Mike Tomlin and his players during these exit meetings, we do know how we would conduct those meetings if they were let up to us. So here are the Depot’s exit meetings for the Steelers’ roster following the 2020 season.
Player: Cameron Sutton
Experience: 4 Years
What a difference a year makes. A year ago from today, Cameron Sutton was heading into the final year of his rookie deal looking to just have any sort of regular role as a dime defender on the eve of hitting free agency. Now, it seems as though he will be a starter for the Steelers, the team that drafted him.
In between, of course, was the 2020 season, during which he saw career highs in playing time. He started seven games, including the postseason, at both left and right outside cornerback as well as in the slot. It looks as though he is shooting up from the number four cornerback last season, however, to number two.
That’s because four-year starting nickel cornerback Mike Hilton departed in free agency, signing a four-year, $24 million deal with the Bengals, and the Steelers are in the process of removing Steven Nelson from the books. If they fail to trade him, reports indicate they will release him in what is surely a cap-saving measure.
Sutton started one game in place of Nelson, as well as two games in place of Joe Haden, and four in place of Hilton, over the course of the 2020 season, displaying his versatility, and he will likely need to retain that in 2021, as he figures to start on the outside and then move into the slot in sub-packages in order to accommodate the skills of their depth, which, as currently constructed, favor the outside.
As for himself, logging nearly 550 snaps, Sutton posted career highs with 30 tackles and three forced fumbles, with an interception and eight passes defensed. He does have a knack for being able to play the ball, a trait that’s gotten him where he is now on a two-year, $9 million deal.