Buy Or Sell: Patrick Peterson Will Be Better In Pittsburgh Than Cam Sutton In Detroit

With the Steelers’ 2023 offseason underway following a disappointing season that came up just short of reaching the playoffs, it’s time to reload, through the free agency process, through the draft, and perhaps even through trade..

This is now a young team on the offensive side of the ball, though one getting older on defense. Both sides could stand to be supplemented robustly, including in the trenches—either one. Changes have been made to the coaching staff, even if not all of the desired ones, as the roster continues to renew with the weeks ticking by.

These sorts of uncertainties are what I will look to address in our Buy or Sell series. In each installment, I will introduce a topic statement and weigh some of the arguments for either buying it (meaning that you agree with it or expect it to be true) or selling it (meaning you disagree with it or expect it to be false).

Topic Statement: Patrick Peterson in Pittsburgh will have more success than Cameron Sutton in Detroit.

Explanation: After failing to step up to the financial plate in their efforts to re-sign Cameron Sutton, who signed a three-year, $33 million deal with the Detroit Lions, the Steelers turned around and brought in former Pro Bowler Patrick Peterson on a two-year deal worth rather a bit less. Both had strong seasons in 2022 but are in different phases of their careers.


The Steelers should get the better end of the bargain provided they utilize Peterson in ways that reflect his current strengths and mask his weaknesses. He will be the first to admit that he’s not a blanket shadow guy at 32 going on 33, but he is still rather a talent.

Sutton, in the meantime, is coming off by far the most complete season of his career, and that after settling into a system he’s known for six years. Now he heads off to Detroit in a new system, and without the benefit of Minkah Fitzpatrick at free safety. He figures to have a harder time adjusting than Peterson, who has changed teams before, will.


Sutton might not have the same pedigree as Peterson, but he is just at the beginning of his peak, and the Lions should see the best of him. He can play any way they want him to, whether it’s in man or in zone, on the outside or in the slot, which is surely one of the reasons they valued him so highly and paid a premium price for him.

As for Peterson, he’s at the point of his career where you never quite know when the bottom is going to fall out. He insists, for his part, that he trains in a way that maximizes his ability to play without burning himself out.

But we’re overlooking, I think, how good Sutton can be. No, perhaps he’s not going to go to the Pro Bowl, but can be, more quietly, the number one guy. If last season is any indication, he’s not going to allow a lot of completions his way. And that’s a cornerback’s number one job.

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