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Pittsburgh Steelers 2021 Exit Interviews: Cam Sutton and Minkah Fitzpatrick

The Steelers only have two starters from their 2021 secondary under contract for this season.

NFL: Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers 2021 NFL season has come to a close. Because the Steelers are among the 31 teams who did not finish fulfilling their ultimate goal, they are in the process of wrapping up their season and moving forward into 2022.

Since the Steelers conduct exit interviews with all their players, we here at BTSC thought we would do the same. By outlining two players each day, we will be able to look at their season in retrospect as well as looking toward the future. Since Coach Tomlin stated he starts his interviews with rookies, first year players, and those heading into free agency, we will do the same. To start, we will pair a potential free agent with a first-year player as we work through this process to eventually cover the entire Steelers roster.

Next up is cornerback Cam Sutton and safety Minkah Fitzpatrick.

Cam Sutton

NFL: NOV 21 Steelers at Chargers Photo by Chris Williams/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Position: Cornerback
Years with the Steelers: 5
Years in the NFL: 5
Contract Status: Signed through 2022
Contract Details: $5,200,000 salary cap hit for 2022. Would cost the Steelers $2,800,000 in dead money if released.
Games played in 2021: 16 regular season, 1 postseason
Games started in 2021: 16 regular season, 1 postseason
Snaps (regular season): 1,089 (defense), 101 (special teams)
PFF score: 59.3 (77th of 116)
Notable stats (regular season): Sutton had 52 tackles, four of which were for loss, one forced fumble, two interceptions, and six passes defensed.

Notes: In his first year as a starter, Cam Sutton didn’t necessarily set the world on fire but also was not a huge liability. But playing cornerback in the NFL often leads to players having great moments as well as not-so-great moments. As the season went on, Sutton found himself being used in the slot significantly more over the final two games and in the postseason. Showing the versatility to be able to fill-in at various places throughout the season is key for the Steelers secondary as Suttons role is likely to do more with the players the Steelers have available rather than him. Regardless, Cam Sutton showed he is liekly to remain on the field in whatever role he is needed in the Steelers defense as he played the second-most snaps this season only behind Terrell Edmunds. Do when it comes to Sutton for 2022, it’s more about filling out the rest of the secondary which will determine how many different positions he has to play during a given game.

Minkah Fitzpatrick

Pittsburgh Steelers v Cincinnati Bengals Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Position: Safety
Years with the Steelers: 3
Years in the NFL: 4
Contract Status: Signed through 2022
Contract Details: $10,612,000 salary cap hit for 2022. Would cost the Steelers all $10,612,000 in dead money if released.
Games played in 2021: 16 regular season, 1 postseason
Games started in 2021: 16 regular season, 1 postseason
Snaps (regular season): 1083 (defense), 5 (offense), 75 (special teams)
PFF score: 57.2 (73rd of 92)
Notable stats (regular season): Fitzpatrick had A team high 124 tackles, one of which was for loss, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, two interceptions, and seven passes defense.

Notes: It’s a mixed bag on how Minkah Fitzpatrick‘s 2021 season actually played out. Some will only look at key statistics, such as interceptions, and feel that Fitzpatrick took a step back in 2021 while others felt the way he was utilized had him playing his best football of his career. Being targeted more in 2021 that he had been his previous two seasons combined in Pittsburgh, Fitzpatrick only gave up two touchdowns on the season according to Pro Football Reference, the same number as 2020 with 30 less targets. Fitzpatrick also had his lowest yards per completion of his career. Often being the last line of defense as the free safety, Fitzpatrick’s exact role often depends on those playing in front of him. While there is no doubt as to whether or not Minkah Fitzpatrick will continue to be the starter for the Steelers in 2022, the only two remaining questions are if the Steelers will be able to work out an extension before the season, and what players will be surrounding him on the defense moving forward.

So what do you think? How would you conduct Sutton’s and Fitzpatrick’s exit interview? Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Make sure you check back each day for another set of exit interviews. If you have missed any of the previous articles, they are listed here:

Ben Roethlisberger & Najee Harris
Eric Ebron & Pat Freiermuth
Trai Turner & Kendrick Green
Chuks Okorafor & Dan Moore Jr.
Robert Spillane & Buddy Johnson
Montravius Adams & Isaiahh Loudermilk
Joe Haden & Tre Norwood
Christian Kuntz & Pressley Harvin
JuJu Smith-Schuster & Cody White
J.C. Hassenauer & John Leglue
Marcus Allen & Tegray Scales
James Washington & Chase Claypool
Taco Charlton & Alex Highsmith
Ahkello Witherspoon & James Pierre
B.J. Finney & Kevin Dotson
Kalen Ballage & Anthony McFarland
Stephon Tuitt & Carlos Davis
Ray-Ray McCloud & Diontae Johnson
Terrell Edmunds & Miles Killebrew
Dwayne Haskins & Joshua Dobbs
Arthur Maulet & Justin Layne
Cam Heyward & Henry Mondeaux
T.J. Watt & Derrek Tuszka
Zach Genry & Kevin Rader
Derek Watt & Benny Snell Jr.
Chris Boswell & Mason Rudolph
Devin Bush & Ulysees Gilbert III
Joe Schobert & Tyson Alualu
Joe Haeg & Zach Banner