Steelers 2-a-days: Can Diontae Spencer translate CFL success? What’s Cameron Sutton’s role? |

Steelers 2-a-days: Can Diontae Spencer translate CFL success? What’s Cameron Sutton’s role?

Chris Adamski
The Steelers’ Cameron Sutton takes out the Falcons’ Justin Hardy on a punt return in the second quarter Sunday, Oct. 7, 2018 at Heinz Field.

Editor’s note: From now until the first practice of training camp at Saint Vincent College, the Trib will be running through the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 90-man roster, assessing each player’s outlook for the 2019 season. The breakdown will go through the roster in mostly-alphabetical order, (at least) two per day, between June 14 and July 26.


Experience: Four seasons in the CFL after brief time with Rams in 2014 offseason

Contract status: $495,000 cap hit in 2019, exclusive-rights free agent after the season

2019 outlook: Just as many suspected, an undersized but shifty receiver from a smaller school by the name of Diontae raised eyebrows during organized team activities and minicamp. It wasn’t third-round pick Diontae Johnson, though — it was Spencer, the 5-foot-8, 170-pound McNeese State product who was a CFL All-Star the past two seasons and set a league record for all-purpose yards in a game with 496 for the Ottawa Redblacks against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Spencer has three special-teams touchdown returns over the past two seasons. He has 222 catches for 2,635 receiving yards and 16 touchdowns in that time. At 27, he’s a longshot, but he figures to be fun to watch during the preseason.


Experience: 3rd season

Contract status: $861,432 cap hit in 2019, signed through 2020

2019 outlook: Sutton was drafted relatively high (Round 3). He’s had two-plus years in the organization, and he’s performed adequately during the defensive snaps he’s gotten, including 241 last season. But on a team in search of quality cornerbacks, Sutton is overlooked. This past spring, the Steelers signed veteran Steven Nelson and drafted Justin Layne in the third round. Sutton perhaps is harmed by his versatility — he plays outside and in the slot, as a dime DB and even has dabbled at safety — but a cynic might say he’s a jack of all trades but master of none. Despite the additions, it’s highly possible Sutton ends up as the Steelers’ No. 3 outside CB when the dust settles, which leaves him a play away from a critical role.

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Chris Adamski is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chris by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .

Categories: Sports | Steelers
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