Steelers will need to cut Haden or Nelson to improve CB room

Joe Haden Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Joe Haden Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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Pittsburgh Steelers
Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Cameron Sutton (20) Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /

Resigning Cam Sutton

Now, the reason to cut either Nelson or Haden isn’t just to save money. The Steelers have their two best corners (based on 2020 play at least) set to be free agents, and that money would ideally go to signing one of them (if not both of them). Looking first at Cameron Sutton, the former third-round pick is entering the final year of his rookie deal. While he has never been a true starter, he has seen some more snaps due to injury and has looked like the best coverage option that the Steelers currently have on the roster.

On the year, Sutton has given up seven receptions (a 63.6 percent completion rate) and has only allowed 55 yards to be gained off those. He has given up a touchdown, but that doesn’t diminish the impressive 68.4 rating quarterbacks have when targeting him. While his sample size isn’t huge as he has only played 41 percent of the defensive snaps, the numbers he is allowing is certainly impressive. Even better, Sutton has outside corner and slot capabilities, meaning he could either become the full-time slot starter or move to the outside if needed.

Given his part-time status on the defense, the Steelers would likely need to give him a smaller deal in order for him to try and cash in after becoming a starter. My guess at a deal would be at two years and given his play the Steelers needing to sign him before free agency kicks off, it will need to be a competitive offer.

A possible two-year deal could look could go for 10 million total with a 4 million dollar signing bonus. That would make his first-year cap hit in the range of 3 million dollars. The Steelers would be risking a known commodity, but Sutton has earned the chance to start. He has looked like the best cover corner so far on the team, and the Steelers would be unwise to allow him to walk in favor of a player currently on the roster.