Steelers Bring Back CB Cameron Sutton

JUNE 7: Sutton will indeed come back to Pittsburgh for the league minimum. His $1.21MM base salary matches Russell Wilson‘s, though KPRC2’s Aaron Wilson notes the veteran cornerback will count $985K against the Steelers’ cap. Unlike Wilson, the Steelers did not guarantee Sutton any money, per OverTheCap.

JUNE 5: The Steelers already met with Cameron Sutton in the wake of his Lions release. The parties are huddling up again Wednesday, and a reunion will come to pass. Sutton is expected to rejoin the Steelers, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Gerry Dulac.

A one-year contract worth the veteran minimum is the anticipated outcome here, Dulac adds. This would be a major step back for a player who was tied to an $11MM-per-year deal entering the offseason, but a domestic violence arrest brought a quick end to Sutton’s Detroit tenure. Sutton’s Pittsburgh return is indeed a go, with’s Tom Pelissero confirming the sides have another deal in place.

A Steelers draft choice who played six seasons with the team, Sutton spent one season with the Lions. Several weeks after Detroit designated the veteran starter as a post-June 1 cut, Pittsburgh will sign off on another agreement. The initial Steelers-Sutton meeting occurred back in April, and although a suspension is expected in connection with Sutton’s arrest on a domestic battery by strangulation charge, the Mike Tomlin-Omar Khan tandem is comfortable greenlighting a reunion.

An early-March arrest warrant went out for Sutton, but the seven-year veteran did not turn himself in for more than three weeks. Sutton, 29, had been seen at the Lions’ facility between the warrant emerging and his eventual arrest. The Lions moved on from Sutton’s three-year, $33MM deal a day after the report of the warrant surfaced.

Police responded to a call pertaining to an alleged domestic incident in Lutz, Florida. Sutton fled the scene after this alleged battery; evidence of wounds was present on the woman’s body. Sutton owns a home in Pinellas County, Florida. It is not known if Sutton will be suspended this season, but that seems likely. Under the NFL’s personal conduct policy, players do not need to be convicted of crimes to receive NFL bans.

This certainly produces an interesting addition for the Steelers, who used Sutton as their No. 1 corner for a stretch earlier this decade. Sutton played well on the two-year, $9MM deal he signed in 2021, leading to the Lions’ pricier commitment last year. Sutton will have a chance to carve out a role in a CB contingent headed by 2023 second-round pick Joey Porter Jr. and recent trade acquisition Donte Jackson. Sutton started 39 games for the Steelers from 2017-22; 31 of those starts came between the 2021 and ’22 seasons.

The Steelers were believed to be interested in a third Sutton contract in 2023, but the team’s offer did not approach where the Lions went in free agency. Pittsburgh instead opted for a cheaper deal with Patrick Peterson, whom the team released earlier this offseason, and the Porter pick at No. 32 overall. Another Peterson deal had not been ruled out previously, but this Sutton signing would stand to reduce the chances the likely Hall of Famer returns.

Sutton is coming off a down season in Detroit. Pro Football Focus ranked the 5-foot-11 cover man 104th (out of 127 regulars) at the position in 2023, and the Lions have gone through with an overhaul at the position. Under Tomlin and DC Teryl Austin in 2022, however, Sutton finished in the top five (among corners) in passer rating allowed as the closest defender, per Next Gen Stats; he ended that season with a career-high 15 passes defensed. The Steelers will see if Sutton can rebound back in their system.

How the Steelers configure their reshaped CB group will be interesting. Although Sutton has experience in the slot, he has primarily been a boundary defender in recent years. The Steelers waited until Round 6 (Ryan Watts) to draft a corner this year. Via offset language, this agreement stands to cut into the dead money the Lions will see over the next two offseasons. Detroit took on $8.72MM in Sutton dead money this offseason.

View Comments (26)