Former Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Cameron Sutton is headed to the Motor City, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
The Detroit Lions and Sutton are in agreement on a three-year contract, according to Rapoport. Sutton reportedly gets $22.5 million guaranteed on the open market.
Sutton spent the last six seasons in Pittsburgh, after being a sixth-round pick out of Tennessee in 2017. He was a key starter in the secondary the last two seasons, developing into a shutdown cornerback in 2022 for Pittsburgh.
While he missed one game due to injury in 2022, Sutton still managed to log 931 total defensive snaps in addition to 61 more on special teams. He ended the season with 43 total tackles, of which one resulted in lost yardage. Additionally, Sutton was credited with three interceptions and 15 passes defensed in 2022. He played both outside and inside during the season.
According to Nick Korte, who tracks the compensatory-picks formula for the NFL, the Steelers are set to receive a fourth-round pick for the loss of Sutton.
Sutton’s departure opens an even larger hole on the depth chart at cornerback for the Steelers, who cut William Jackson III over the weekend. Without Jackson and Sutton, the Steelers are left with the likes of Levi Wallace, Ahkello Witherspoon, Arthur Maulet, Duke Dawson, Madre Harper, and Chris Wilcox on the 90-man offseason roster. James Pierre is a restricted free agent.
As a starter for the second-straight season in 2022, Sutton took a significant step forward, becoming a leader in the secondary while developing into a legitimate shutdown cornerback. On the season, Sutton finished with a career-high 15 passes defensed and added three interceptions, holding opposing quarterbacks to just a 47.9% completion percentage when targeted.
Though he is 28 years old, Sutton has very few miles on his body overall, at least defensively. He played more than 2,000 snaps the last two seasons combined but just over 1,000 the four previous seasons combined.
His development has been rather remarkable overall for the Steelers, going from a third-round pick that didn’t see the field early into a legitimate shutdown cornerback in 2022.
According to Pro Football Focus, Sutton graded out at a 72.2 overall on the year in 931 snaps, the second-best grade of his career. His career-best grade came in 2019 when he recorded a 74.5 in just 268 snaps.