Sutton joins Steelers, unconcerned about ‘story’

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PITTSBURGH — Cornerback Cameron Sutton has signed a one-year contract with the Pittsburgh Steelers, the team announced on Wednesday.

Sutton’s deal is set to be for the veteran minimum, sources told ESPN.

Aged 29, Sutton, who spent his initial six NFL years in Pittsburgh, was let go by the Detroit Lions earlier this offseason following an arrest warrant for a domestic battery charge.

Despite refraining from discussing the arrest warrant and the circumstances around his release from Detroit due to the ongoing legal process, Sutton spoke out for the first time since the incident post Wednesday’s OTA practice in Pittsburgh.

Sutton stated, “My responsibility is not to appeal to someone else,” when asked about his message to fans questioning his alleged actions.

“My task is to be the finest version of myself and exhibit that to everyone around me. I have full control over that.

“So, I’m not distressed over a narrative. I’m not worried about what people say because more often than not, they don’t know me better than anyone else…it comes down to your principles, your ethics, who you are as an individual, and what you uphold. Holding my head high. Everyone faces adversity. Everyone encounters life events that can sway in either direction. Therefore, it’s about how you confront that and what you draw from it.”

The warrant was issued on March 7 after Florida police responded to an incident at a residence where Sutton allegedly assaulted a woman before leaving. He was released by the Lions on March 21, a day subsequent to the team learning of the warrant.

“We’re proceeding forward,” stated Lions team president Rod Wood at league meetings in Orlando, Florida. “I want to clarify, we didn’t release him due to anything related to salary or money owed to him. It was the appropriate step for the organization.”

Sutton remained evasive of law enforcement for over three weeks after the warrant before surrendering in Hillsborough County (Florida) on March 31.

While the initial warrant charged him with a felony, Sutton was formally accused of misdemeanor battery. Sutton participated in a pretrial diversion program in April to resolve his case, as per Hillsborough County records.

On Wednesday, Sutton expressed his inability to discuss the status of his legal case and mentioned that he has been in contact with the league regarding potential repercussions if found to breach the NFL’s personal conduct policy.

“I can’t delve much into the legal or league standpoint,” stated Sutton. “Whatever it comes to, we are prepared to move forward in that direction.”

During the March league meetings, coach Mike Tomlin was inquired about reaching out to players like Sutton in trouble.

“I do, but those discussions stay between us,” replied Tomlin.

Tomlin reacted strongly to a subsequent question specifically asking if he had been in touch with Sutton.

“That’s not your concern,” he responded.

Sutton mentioned he has been in contact with the Steelers throughout the offseason, but he chose not to disclose detailed discussions with the team regarding the alleged domestic violence incident.

“It was more of a general check-in, ensuring my well-being, contacting family, and similar matters,” Sutton stated about his communication with the Steelers. “And then obviously, opportunities lead to the next. The team was in the midst of the draft and early season activities, and on my part, I’ve been staying prepared, maintaining fitness, training, daily routines, and just being ready for a call.

“As it happened, the call came, and I’m here now, ready to proceed.”

At the time of his release by the Lions, Sutton was a year into a three-year, $33 million contract signed in 2023. Sutton started every game with the Lions in his solo season in Detroit, garnering 1 interception, 1 forced fumble, and 50 tackles.

Safety Minkah Fitzpatrick, one of the few current Steelers secondary members who played with Sutton in Pittsburgh, stated he stayed connected with his former teammate after Sutton signed with the Lions as a free agent.

“We all encounter our share of challenges, and one of the remarkable aspects of being in the locker room is having 53 or 52 other individuals who can assist you in overcoming any obstacles,” Fitzpatrick noted. “Cam is a fantastic guy. We all face adversity, but we’ll welcome him with open arms and treat him as if he never departed.”

Prior to joining Detroit, Sutton served as a starting cornerback for the Steelers and amassed three interceptions in his final season in Pittsburgh.

“Adversity affects everyone in life,” Sutton remarked. “Thus, it’s about how you manage it, how you navigate these stages, and understanding who you are individually, without letting anyone diminish your light.”

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