With their being a slight lull before Super Bowl LVII is played on Sunday, Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com figured Tuesday would a be a great time to write about at least one big roster move each AFC team outside of the Kansas City Chiefs should make. His suggestions when it comes to the Pittsburgh Steelers included a few that need to be discussed.
For starters, Rosenthal has the Steelers potentially re-signing cornerback Cameron Sutton this offseason as a move the team absolutely needs to make.
“A third-round pick back in 2017, Sutton is a homegrown player who’s coming off his best season at a position of need,” Rosenthal penned. “He’s set to be one of the top cornerbacks available in free agency, but the Steelers have a knack for keeping the guys they like at team-friendly prices.”
I don’t think that Rosenthal is going to get much pushback from anyone reading this post when it comes that suggestion from him. As it sits right now, it seems like almost a forgone conclusion that Sutton, whose current contract will void well before the end of February, will be re-signed at some point during the offseason and potentially even before free agency officially starts on March 15.
The only way that Sutton isn’t re-signed is if his demands are way too high when it comes to yearly average and guaranteed money amounts. He is, however, seemingly globally considered one of the top three cornerbacks scheduled to become unrestricted free agents this offseason so his market value, and what the Steelers might actually re-sign him for might just come in higher than what most people think it should be ahead of the Super Bowl being played.
It’s hard to imagine what the Steelers secondary might look like in 2023 should Sutton not be re-signed. Here’s to hoping we don’t need to worry about that past March 15.
As for Rosenthal’s other suggestions for the Steelers, he hints that the team should seriously consider cutting two offensive linemen in the form of tackle Chukwuma Okorafor and guard Kevin Dotson.
Personally, I don’t see either of those cuts happening as we sit here ahead of the Super Bowl. In fact, I recently dedicated an entire post to the Okorafor’s contract and that includes the plausibility of the team cutting him. As I stated in that post, if Okorafor is to be cut, that contract termination would need to take place by March 20 when he’s due a $4 million roster bonus.
As for cutting Dotson, why? Sure, his raise in pay for 2023 due to the NFL’s Proven Performance Escalator that he earned is expected to be around $2.627 million. That said, cutting him saves just $1.877 million in 2023 salary cap space following a minimum salary roster displacement taking place. Is it really worth dumping him to save that piddling amount of salary cap space? Personally, I don’t think so and especially before the 2023 NFL Draft takes place. It just doesn’t make sense to do that.
The Steelers will indeed have a salary cap causality or three before March 15 rolls around. That said, I don’t expect Okorafor or Dotson to be included in those. Rosenthal would have looked a lot more informed had he suggested the team cut cornerbacks William Jackson III and Ahkello Witherspoon prior to March 15. Him failing to mention both players being cut as options shows that he’s not well-versed on the Steelers’ offseason situation outside of Sutton’s status.