Veteran cornerback Cameron Sutton has made it quite clear he doesn’t want to play anywhere else but in Pittsburgh with the Steelers, the team that drafted him in the third round in 2017 out of Tennessee.
The Steelers seem to feel the same way, at least according to General Manager Omar Khan.
Speaking with reporters Tuesday from the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, Khan stated that the Steelers have begun contract discussions with Sutton, who is slated to hit free agency at the start of the new league year in mid-March, and that the team feels good with where they’re at in the discussions with Sutton.
“We think very highly of Cam, and conversations have commenced. We’ll see where it goes,” Khan said. “Like all our other free agents, everything’s on the table.”
Entering the offseason, Sutton has largely been a priority for the Steelers coming off of his breakout season.
As a starter for the second straight season in 2022, Sutton took a significant step forward in his development on the field, becoming a leader in the secondary while developing into a legitimate shutdown cornerback. On the season, Sutton finished with a career-high 15 passes defensed and added three interceptions, holding opposing quarterbacks to just a 47.9% completion percentage when targeted.
Though he is 28 years old, Sutton has very few miles on his body overall, at least defensively, playing more than 2,000 snaps in the last two seasons combined, but playing just over 1,000 in the four previous seasons combined.
His development has been rather remarkable overall for the Steelers, going from a third-round pick that didn’t see the field early on into a legitimate shutdown cornerback that he became in 2022.
According to Pro Football Focus, Sutton graded out at a 72.2 overall on the year in 931 snaps, the second-best grade of his career. His career-best grade came in 2019 when he recorded a 74.5 in just 268 snaps.
It remains unclear what Sutton’s overall value would be on the open market, but coming off of a career season there’s a good chance Sutton gets between $8 million and $13 million per year in a new contract. Steelers Depot’s Dave Bryan laid out what those potential contracts might look like from Sutton once a deal is in place with the Steelers.
With contract talks already commencing, there’s a great chance that the Steelers and Sutton get something done well ahead of the start of the new league year in mid-March, allowing the Steelers’ front office to focus on retaining other key veteran free agents, like Larry Ogunjobi, Terrell Edmunds, Damontae Kazee and Robert Spillane.