Cornerback Cameron Sutton didn’t know what would happen with Mike Hilton or Steven Nelson when he decided to re-sign with the Steelers earlier this month, but he knew he was “coming in” to compete for a full-time starting job regardless of who else was around.
Sutton won’t have to compete with either Hilton or Nelson. Hilton signed with the Bengals and Nelson has been released, which leaves Sutton as the team’s most experienced corner after Joe Haden. That leaves spots open on the inside and the outside open heading into next season.
Sutton said he’s looking at the outside spot opposite Haden as the one he’ll be working to fill.
“Coming out of exit meetings, going into this season, they were going to give me every opportunity to come in and play outside,” Sutton said, via SI.com. “It’s something that I knew I could do. It’s not something I couldn’t do before. Even in the midst of playing on the inside and moving around, career-wise, I’ve always been a stationary outside guy. That’s just the product and confidence in myself and them having the confidence in me to move and still have a sense whether inside or outside. Now, those opportunities have presented themselves and I’m ready.”
The Steelers had one of the league’s best defenses last season and they’ve lost pass rusher Bud Dupree and linebacker Vince Williams in addition to the two corners. A comfortable transition for Sutton would be a step toward keeping the unit near the top of the league in 2021.