Early grades for every Steelers 2021 free agency signing

JuJu Smith-Schuster #19 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
JuJu Smith-Schuster #19 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Cameron Sutton (20) and cornerback Mike Hilton (28) Mandatory Credit: Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports /

Cameron Sutton

2-years, 9 million (plus three voidable years), 1.7 million cap hit

Grade: A+

Easily, this was the Steelers’ best signing of the offseason. Being able to retain Cameron Sutton at slightly below market value was already a great deal when he was being considered just the slot cornerback. With Steven Nelson out the door now, Sutton is in line to be the full-time starter. Considering the lack of options in the slot, it seems likely that Sutton starts on the outside in two-cornerback sets before kicking inside in sub-packages.

A starting outside cornerback for 4.5 million dollars a year is quite the value. For a Steelers team that was short on resources this offseason, retaining Sutton at that rate should pay dividends down the road. There are those that will point out that Sutton is relatively unproven as a starter. While that is true, he has starred even in a limited role. If he falls flat on his face though, the Steelers could cut him easily next offseason and shed some cap space that way.

While the value of the deal was a little on the lower end, it isn’t a bad one for Sutton either. His contract voids after two seasons, so he will still be young enough to hit the market again. He will enter the market after showcasing a few full seasons of starting either on the outside, in the slot, or both. He will still be able to cash in despite taking the smaller contract now. Easily, this deal was the best the team had during this offseason.