The Detroit Lions have one major need as they head into the offseason at cornerback, and could be ready to make sure it gets solved in a big way.
With plenty of players that would make sense for additions at the position, already, there’s been one name that has come to the forefront for ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler. In an insider piece just ahead of the start of free agency, Fowler offered some last-minute insight on some of the rumors that have been swirling.
The Lions came up with regards to cornerback Cameron Sutton, a top free agent from the Pittsburgh Steelers. Sutton, Fowler says, is a player to watch in the cornerback market with perhaps three teams interested. The Las Vegas Raiders, the Minnesota Vikings and the Lions.
“Here’s another name to keep a close eye on: Cameron Sutton. The Pittsburgh corner just finished a two-year, $9 million deal but will be in a much higher tier this time. His name is circulating right now at the cornerback spot. Could see some NFC North action here — the Vikings or Lions make sense. Raiders, too,” Fowler wrote on Sutton in the piece.
The Lions have been said to be aggressively targeting a cornerback according to Fowler, which would mean this information would seem to indicate Sutton could be one of their top choices.
Nevertheless, it will be a good idea to watch the cornerback market and perhaps Sutton in the coming days for clues. The Lions could be set to find solutions to one of their biggest roster woes there.
Cameron Sutton Already Called a Top Lions Fit
It isn’t the first time this offseason that the Lions have been called an offseason fit for Sutton, and Pro Football Focus was the first to make the connection in January.
In a piece running down the list of the one defensive free agent every team should pursue at the time, Sutton was suggested for Detroit by analyst Brad Spielberger.
As Spielberger wrote, Detroit’s secondary was awful this season in terms of maintaining players, and as a result, they need a big depth boost during the offseason.
“In the secondary, the Lions were nearly devoid of talent, going so far as to move safety Will Harris to cornerback. They need to add reinforcements to the secondary, and defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn was a defensive backs coach in New Orleans before joining Dan Campbell in Detroit,” Spielberger wrote.
Specifically as it relates to Sutton’s fit, Speilberger sees a player that blossomed as he transitioned to starter status, and someone who is position versatile on the back end as offering value to Detroit.
“Sutton earned a career-best 72.2 grade as a full-time starter in 2022, allowing just 0.76 yards per coverage snap, good for 11th among cornerbacks with at least 200 coverage snaps on the season. He offers inside/outside versatility as well, though he’s been a starter on the outside the last two seasons,” Spielberger said.
Adding a player like Sutton to shore up a bad group would seem to be a big bonus for the Lions. The team needs help at the position, and Sutton has been a solid pro since he came into the league in 2017 out of Tennessee.
It’s clear the Lions could agree with this notion that Sutton is a key player to target this year.
Cameron Sutton’s Career Stats & Highlights
Sutton is still a very young player, being that he is just 27 and came into the league as a third-round pick out of Tennessee in 2017.
In college, Sutton was productive for the Volunteers given he racked up 127 tackles and seven interceptions. He also had one touchdown and 30 passes defended to go with three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries while in school.
Coming to the NFL, things haven’t been different. Sutton has produced stats in the league as well, with 158 tackles, two sacks, seven interceptions and five forced fumbles since he burst on the scene.
Sutton could be primed for a bigger role, and the Lions could have the means and the motivation to pay up for a young player that is seemingly on the rise for the future.
Watch for this move to potentially play out for the Lions in free agency if Fowler is correct.