Steelers extension with Cameron Sutton is a win-win for both parties

Cameron Sutton #20 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)
Cameron Sutton #20 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) /

The Steelers have hit an early free agency home run by re-signing Sutton to a two-year deal. Here’s why his contract is a win-win.

There are a lot of unknowns heading into this offseason, as the Steelers lack of cap space and a plethora of free agents were sure to provide this team questions going into the new year. While there are still quite a few questions the team will need to answer, who their nickel cornerback is going to be fortunately has already been figured out. The team re-signed Cameron Sutton to a two-year deal worth 9 million, and by all accounts, it is a home run move.

I’ve written that Sutton was a vital player to re-sign and was arguably the team’s best cover corner last season. I even went so far as to say he could fetch a deal closer to the 6 million a year range given just how talented his play was. That makes his 4.5 million per year average look like quite the bargain already.

His play last year was tremendous, as he was a key force in turning the ball over and locking down opposing receivers. As well, he played well both in the slot and on the boundary, pointing even further to the value that he can bring the team on his new deal. Add the contracts that were being handed out to other slot options and suddenly the Steelers look like geniuses for getting this deal done.

Steelers are paying him below market value

The most similar corners to have signed deals so far are Jason Verrett and Emmanuel Moseley. Verrett is older, but he has had a decent reclamation to his once fading career. He played more snaps than Sutton but put up a very similar performance, yet Verrett got 1 million more per year despite extensive injury risks and age. Moseley meanwhile played a similar amount of snaps, but he was far worse in coverage than Sutton was. He also was signed for over 5 million dollars a season.

Those deals make Sutton’s look like even more of a steal. Better yet, he can, and likely will, play on the outside eventually. He was just as effective there as he was in the slot. At his price, that will make him an even better value. Don’t be surprised to see him ball out in the slot next year and in year two of this deal move to the outside to replace Joe Haden or Steven Nelson. This would give him the opportunity to cash in big.

Must Read. Steelers pre-free agency mock draft: Fixing the offense early. light

There is literally no downside to this contract, as Sutton will have another crack at free agency while still under the age of 30. Don’t be surprised if he earns an extension next offseason, though at a fairer market price. The Steelers re-signing Sutton was huge, and the team should be praised for retaining such a good player at the price they got him at.