Pittsburgh Steelers DL Cam Heyward continued his post-season media tour on Wednesday, speaking with Dave Dameshek on his Minus Three Podcast in Phoenix in lead up to Super Bowl LVII. The two talked about Heyward’s career accomplishments and spoke about whether Heyward feels like he’s on track to enter the Hall of Fame one day after his playing days are over.
Heyward was asked who would take over as the leader in the locker room on defense when he decides to retire one day, and Heyward mentioned the other defensive superstars on the roster including T.J. Watt and Minkah Fitzpatrick. However, Heyward brought up how football is a team game and that while the Steelers currently have three “superstars” on defense, he sees another name going unnoticed that should receive consideration as a leader on defense: CB Cam Sutton.
“I really like Cam Sutton,” Heyward said to Dave Dameshek. “He’s a free agent this year, but there’s so many different things Cam does that go unnoticed. He can play nickel, he can play outside, he can play the dime. The fact that you can move him around and he plays with little of a mean streak… he’s a guy I really do appreciate.”
Cam Sutton had a breakout season of sorts for the Steelers in 2022, profiling as the team’s likely nickel CB going into training camp with Levi Wallace and Ahkello Witherspoon projected to start on the outside. However, due to injuries and inconsistent play from Witherspoon, Sutton was able to play both inside while also rotating in some at safety to allow Fitzpatrick to move down closer to the LOS to disguise coverages and enable him to make more plays. In 2022, Sutton totaled 43 tackles, a TFL, 15 PBUs, and three INTs. He allowed a passer rating of only 67.1, a completion percentage of 49.3%, and four touchdowns.
As Heyward highlighted, Sutton is scheduled to become a free agent this offseason. Looking at Pittsburgh’s current scheduled free agents, Sutton is by far the most important one to prioritize bringing back. It appears that Sutton wants to be back in the one place he has called home thus far in his NFL career, and that sentiment has been echoed by Heyward and the rest of his teammates that have spoken about him in recent weeks. With free agency about a month away, we will know soon whether the Steelers will be able to retain their homegrown leader in the secondary.