The Pittsburgh Steelers made a bold decision on the first day of the new NFL league year. That decision was to give Cam Sutton a new contract instead of Mike Hilton. Hilton, who tested the free agents waters, ended up signing with the Cincinnati Bengals and will go against the team who gave him a chance twice a year for the foreseeable future.
Throw in the fact the Steelers ultimately let Steven Nelson walk, and the Sutton signing is much bigger than anyone ever imagined it to be when it happened.
Luckily for Sutton, he is capable of playing almost anywhere in the defensive secondary. Last season he played primarily the dime defensive back role, but also filled in for Hilton in the nickel when Hilton was out with a shoulder injury. Sutton can also play on the outside, and it is this type of versatility which should make fans realize just why the Steelers made sure they signed him first.
“What is more special than being versatile. I never want to be a stationary guy.” Sutton told the Steelers official website.
“Why be a stationary target when you can be a moving target,” said Sutton. “Why limit your opportunity when you can maximize your opportunity. It’s not just about wanting it for myself. I am trying to put myself in the best situation to make plays for the team. We have 10 other guys out there hungry and willing and ready to make the same plays. That is why the defense has been successful. No one cares about their numbers. It’s about the excitement we have being out there whipping the guy across from us and coming out with a win. That is our drive. That is what drives me. That drives our organization and defense. We are continuing to build off of that.”
The Steelers have plans of having Sutton compete for the starting job opposite Joe Haden on the outside, but with the 2021 NFL Draft approaching the Steelers know they have a player who can play multiple positions at a high level. Nonetheless, Sutton is just grateful the Steelers believed in him.
“It means everything. It truly means everything,” said Sutton of re-signing. “The organization, it’s not like you come into a new place not knowing. We are talking about an organization that drafted me. Them having the confidence, support and belief in me, my work and the character and type of person I am. To bring me into such a prestigious organization. I am forever indebted and grateful to them for this opportunity.
“It’s nothing that I could have imagined as a young kid living this dream. I can truly say I am able to do that and to continue to do that in Pittsburgh is special. The free agent process wasn’t overwhelming. Everything fell into line like it should. Everything I wanted for my family fell into line. Having that support behind you, to continue to build, compete at a high level and bring more Super Bowls to the organization. We have the guys in the building to achieve that. We’re looking to continue to build and ultimately go get the big success.”
What exactly is Sutton looking to accomplish in his second contract? Simple answer, everything.
“No question. I’m coming for it all. I am definitely coming for it all,” said Sutton. “That is just the competitive edge in me. An opportunity presented itself, and I am embracing that and ready to step into that role and give everything I can and will to help this organization. I just want to keep this thing rolling.
“I am excited for the guys we have in the building that I go to work with every day. We are able to continue that bond that carries the fight on the field. You do all of the work and build relationships and that is what carries the team. We are going to continue to get closer, add new pieces and continue to put ourselves in the best situation to win.”
The Pittsburgh Steelers have put a lot of faith in Sutton, and his ability to not only continue to develop, but also to elevate his game both on and off the field.
“The game is not just played within the lines, run left, run right,” said Sutton. “It’s scheme, knowledge, putting parts where they are supposed to be. Having the knowledge of that, not putting yourself in a box. Having the versatility of knowing what is going on around you. You can’t be locked into only what you are doing. You have to understand and embrace that first. But it makes the game easier, slows it down, when you know what is going on around you, where guys are, use the defense, the scheme, the rotation, a guy’s body presence. You know that from watching film. It’s an offensive game and it’s only getting better on that end with the athletes we are facing. We have to be able to handle that as a defense. We are in the react mode as a defense to begin with. If I know what you are doing on the field, I am going to be in a better situation to make the play.
“I use the knowledge I gain in the film room about players, all the things you take into account to sharpen my tools so I am ready to make a play and then good things happen for you.”
Sutton will have a large role in 2021, much larger than anyone anticipated leading up to the regular season, so be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black and gold as they prepare for the rest of Free Agency and the 2021 NFL Draft.