Now that the 2021 season is over, bringing yet another year of disappointment, a fifth 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 have seen and are seeing over the course of the season and into 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 reasoning. 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. Because of this, we can and will see a player more than once over the course of the season as we move forward.
Player: CB Cameron Sutton
Stock Value: Even
Reasoning: Sutton re-signed with the Steelers in 2021 knowing that he would be projected to be an outside starter. He played the whole season there except when injuries forced him inside, and overall delivered roughly the level of play one would anticipate from him at this point in his career—no more and no less.
The Steelers didn’t hit any home runs last offseason with their decision to re-sign Cameron Sutton on a two-year contract, but they did land a solid single that moved the baserunners—apologies to those who may be sensitive to baseball analogies at the moment.
He didn’t cost a lot, but he didn’t offer the Steelers any kind of upgrade in play from where they had been, either. Sure, Sutton is capable of making some nice plays in coverage, reading the ball well and, when at his best, able to break on it. He did have a redzone interception, one of two on the season, a career high.
Most notable was his work closer up to the line of scrimmage, which included his registering four tackles for loss. He certainly put his tape study and instincts on display more than a few times over the course of the year.
But he also had those games where he was clearly overmatched by more talented wide receivers. And the reality is that he didn’t make many plays on the ball—just six passes defensed all season, fewer than he had as a backup in 2020, and only one more than in 2019.
The bottom line is that he is a player who is good enough to start, but not good enough to not try to look to upgrade. His versatility will leave him in demand, as he is capable of playing in the slot, at safety, or in the dime, but realistically, he likely continues to play primarily as an outside cornerback at least through the 2022 season.