The Pittsburgh Steelers’ salary cap space was minimal heading into the 2021 National Football League season. After getting Ben Roethlisberger to sign a new contract, restructuring Cam Heyward’s current deal and the retirements of Maurkice Pouncey and Vance McDonald, the team was in position to at least be minor players in free agency.
As the league’s legal tampering period began Monday, the Steelers did what they usually do. They sat back and watched, keeping one of their own.
That player they decided to keep was Cameron Sutton. The versatile defensive back was hitting free agency for the first time in his career, and the Steelers didn’t wait long to ensure he stayed within the organization.
Sutton signed a two year contract with the Steelers, and late Monday evening the financial details were released for this contract. This per Aaron Wilson:
Cameron Sutton (Steelers), two years, $9M, $3.5M gtd, $3.5M signing bonus, salaries $1M, $4.5M— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) March 16, 2021
These are the types of deals which make Kevin Colbert, Omar Khan and company look like geniuses. The were able to lock up Sutton for two more seasons, giving him fair value for his experience and starting status, all while it only being a minimal hit to the team’s 2021 salary cap.
How minimal is Sutton’s deal? For 2021, his salary cap number is only $2.75 million. When looking at roster displacement, meaning his salary takes the place of somebody else who was in the top 51 salaries during the offseason, Sutton only adds $2.09 million to the Steelers current salary cap total.
Getting Sutton on a deal like this means the Steelers might be able to actually make at least one more move in free agency without doing anything else. In other words, they might be able to sign another player without giving someone like Joe Haden an extension to free up more salary cap space.
Needless to say, the Steelers are far from done in free agency. I’d venture to say they are just getting started. Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they press on throughout free agency.