‘Great To Be Able To Get’ Guys Like Cameron Sutton Back, Art Rooney II Says

Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Cameron Sutton is one of the team’s more notable upcoming free agents this offseason after he put together a career year in 2022. Sutton was one of the best corners in the league, and with him due to hit the open market, the Steelers are going to make him a priority. In an interview with WPXI’s Jenna Harner, Steelers owner Art Rooney III said the team would like to bring Sutton back.

“You know, we like to bring guys back if we can. We’ve spent time with those guys, particularly Cam Sutton. We drafted Cam and he’s developed as a Steeler and I think he truly wants to come back. So, it’s great to be able to get those kind of guys back. And obviously it depends a little bit on what the market says and what opportunities he might have and whether how we make all these things fit within our salary cap constraints. But clearly there’s some guys that, our veteran guys, that would like to bring back,” Rooney said via Harner’s Twitter account.

The Steelers should be able to create the necessary cap room for Sutton to return. He’s probably looking at a market value around $9-12 million per year, and the Steelers have a variety of ways they can create cap space this offseason, whether it’s by cutting guys or restructuring the contracts of Minkah Fitzpatrick and T.J. Watt (although history tells us those restructures won’t come until later in the offseason).

Pittsburgh has a few other notable unrestricted free agents they’ll likely attempt to bring back, including safeties Damontae Kazee and Terrell Edmunds, defensive linemen Larry Ogunjobi and Chris Wormley, wide receiver Miles Boykin, fullback Derek Watt, linebacker Robert Spillane and tight end Zach Gentry. Sutton is in line for the biggest contract of that group though, and he’s definitely going to be the team’s No. 1 priority, with Edmunds likely being their second highest-priority free agent.

The Steelers track record at drafting cornerbacks in recent years isn’t a good one, so retaining the talent they do have is important. While they’ll still likely address the position via free agency or the draft even if Sutton re-signs, it becomes less of a priority if they’re able to bring back the former third-round pick out of Tennessee.

Sutton finished his 2022 season with a career-high three interceptions and 15 pass deflections, and he showed ability to play on the outside instead of just in the slot. His passer rating against was just 65.3, and he’s going to get interest if/when he hits the open market. Obviously, the Steelers want him back, but they’re going to have to be ready to open their wallets and give him more than they did when he signed a two-year, $9 million extension after the 2020 season.

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