Former Lions cornerback Cameron Sutton headed back to Steelers

Cameron Sutton, not too surprisingly, is headed back to the team that drafted him.
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Cameron Sutton's tenure with the Detroit Lions came to an end in March after a warrant was issued for his arrest related to a domestic battery charge. He has remained available since, but according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network on Wednesday morning he's signing with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

ESPN's Brooke Pryor added it's a one-year deal for the veteran's minimum.

Sutton was drafted by the Steelers in 2017. Once he got the opportunity to start, over his final two seasons in Pittsburgh, he made himself into the ideal free agent target for the Lions in 2023.

It did not go well for Sutton last season, as he had just one interception and six pass breakups while finishing outside the top-100 cornerbacks in overall Pro Football Focus grade. There was no quarrel with that PFF grade, since his ineptitude was fully backed up by the eye test.

Still, his contract said the Lions were stuck with Sutton for this year until his off-field issue surfaced.

Cameron Sutton unsurprisingly headed back to the Steelers

Right after Sutton's release, but before he surrendered to authorities, the NFL had league meetings. Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin was asked if he reaches out to former players who are in trouble, like Sutton was then. Asked if he had talked to Sutton, and under no obligation to tell reporters he had successfully made contact or what they had talked about if so, Tomlin said "none of your business".

It's unclear if Sutton will face discipline from the NFL. His charge was lessened from a felony to a misdemeanor, and he entered a Domestic Violence Intervention Program shortly after that.

The Lions signed Sutton to a three-year, $33 million contract with $22.5 million guaranteed. Part of that guarantee was his $10.5 million base salary for 2024, which the Lions reportedly voided when they released him.

The Lions gave that release a post-June 1 designation, which has now freed up $10.5 million in cap space for this year (pending the formal voiding of that salary) and leaving behind his signing bonus proration as dead money ($2.18 million this year, $6.54 million in 2025).

If Sutton was going to sign anywhere right now, hypothetical good money could have been comfortably been bet on the Steelers. The Lions have easily moved on, overhauling their cornerback depth chart with the additions of Carlton Davis, Amik Robertson, Terrion Arnold and Ennis Rakestraw.

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