Reunion With Cam Sutton Provides Steelers Needed Depth at the Position

Cam Sutton is set for a return to Pittsburgh on a one-year deal. The contract comes after he was released by the Lions in March and later arrested.

Cam Sutton is set for a return to his longtime NFL home in Pittsburgh after a one-year hiatus. The veteran cornerback signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers on Wednesday, per multiple reports, having spent this past season with the Detroit Lions.

Cam Sutton Returns to Steelers

Sutton spent the first six years of his NFL career in Pittsburgh after being selected in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft by the franchise, and he is set to return to the franchise this year.

He signed a three-year, $33 million contract with the Lions ahead of the 2023 season and started all 17 games for the franchise this past season.

Sutton was then cut back on March 21 after news surfaced that the Hillsborough County Sherriff’s Office issued an arrest warrant for Aggravated Battery – Domestic Violence. He turned himself in on March 31 and was formally charged with misdemeanor battery, which carries a maximum one-year jail sentence.

“After weeks of evading law enforcement, this man has finally made the right choice to turn himself in,” Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister said at the time, according to the NFL website.

“Domestic violence has no place in our community, and no one is above the law here in Hillsborough County. My thoughts are with this woman as she continues to heal from this man’s gruesome actions.”

The charges stemmed from a call about domestic violence in progress involving Sutton and a female around 5 a.m. on March 7. The sheriff’s office later asked for help in finding Sutton before he eventually turned himself in.

Sutton was released from jail on Monday, April 1, on his own recognizance. His attorneys, Todd Foster and Jason Setchen, released a statement after his release stating that they hoped to settle the matter as a family.

“Both Mr. Sutton and the mother of his children request privacy in this matter,” the statement read in part, “as they view this as a family matter and wish to resolve it as a family.”

Sutton ultimately entered into a pretrial diversion program in Tampa on the misdemeanor battery charge, according to court records. The program allowed Sutton to avoid criminal charges but required him to undergo a mental health evaluation and possible treatment, along with stipulating a probationary period and no weapons or firearms, per court records.

He began the batterers’ intervention program on April 8, according to Hillsborough County records.

Revisiting Sutton’s 2023 Season

Sutton had a career year during his 2023 campaign with the Lions, helping propel the franchise to its first NFC North title in three decades and two playoff wins in one postseason for the first time since 1957.

Sutton started all 17 regular-season games in Detroit as a key piece of the team’s secondary. He racked up a career-high 65 tackles (50 solo), six pass breakups, four tackles for loss, and one interception. He also broke up three passes across their three postseason games.

Sutton began his career in a backup role before starting 16 games for the Steelers in 2021 and 15 in 2022. He notched career-highs of 15 pass breakups and three interceptions in 2022 before signing with the Lions.

Steelers’ Secondary Depth Chart

Cornerback depth was a concern for Pittsburgh this offseason. They lacked much of it beyond a strong top two of Joey Porter Jr. and now trade acquisition Donte Jackson, who they acquired in March.

Porter played in all 17 games as a rookie last year, including 11 starts, and notched 43 tackles (32 solo), 10 pass breakups, and one interception. Jackson made 16 starts for the Carolina Panthers last season, posting 59 tackles (49 solo), five pass breakups, and one forced fumble.

Ryan Watts, who was selected in the sixth round of the 2024 NFL Draft, is one of a few less experienced players behind the pair who could play a role next season. Anthony Averett also has a decent amount of NFL experience but did not play in 2023. Darius Rush and Cory Trice have even more minimal experience at the position.

All in all, it’s clear that Pittsburgh needed additional depth at cornerback and appears to have found it in reuniting with Sutton.

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