NFL free agency is a hard thing for fans to grasp, but it’s not something you can visually see. To the fan, free agency is just a flurry of tweets and contract terms flying off the board. Behind the scenes, it’s a chaotic frenzy of texts and calls between teams and player agents.
The Detroit Lions were one of the most active teams in the first week of free agency, and it all began with their biggest signing of general manager Brad Holmes’ career in Detroit. Just a couple hours into the negotiating period, news broke that the Lions had agreed to terms with former Steelers cornerback Cameron Sutton.
This week, NFL writer Peter King gave a little background into how that all came together so quickly between Sutton and the Lions.
“The Lions on Monday went hard after the former Pittsburgh corner, 28, and the deal got finalized somewhere around 2:30 that afternoon,” King wrote. “Agent David Canter had told Sutton he hoped his contract would end up around $10 million a year.”
Sutton would end up getting north of that deal, as the Lions gave the veteran cornerback a three-year, $33 million deal with $22.5 million guaranteed. As pointed out by King, Sutton had made $23 million in the entirety of his six-year career in Pittsburgh. This was game-changing money, and the moment Sutton heard the news from his agent, it was all overwhelming.
“You’re gonna be a Detroit Lion in about three minutes,” Canter told Sutton, who was ready for anything. Canter said he didn’t have much time, but told him the basics of the deal: $22.5 million guaranteed, $33 million total, with a signing bonus more than he’d made altogether in his last two years in Pittsburgh.
“Really?” Sutton said, getting emotional.
Canter said Saturday, “He just started crying. He told me, ‘This changes my life. Let’s go to Detroit, baby!’”
You can read the entire feature from King, including a bunch more about free agency across the league here.
- Two Lions signings made NFL.com’s best moves in free agency.
- Kay Adams threw down some EXTREME Lions love in the clip below:
I’m loving the @Lions .. & I just might get a little crazy!!! pic.twitter.com/fveFCvmzlu— Kay Adams (@heykayadams) March 21, 2023
- PFF did a “quarterback mock draft,” pairing each draftable passer with a team. They sent a third-round quarterback to the Lions.
- More love for the Lions—specifically the signing of C.J. Gardner-Johnson—from ESPN’s Marcus Spears:
Allow Marcus Spears to tell you how IMPACTFUL the C.J.G.J. signing is #OnePride— Woodward Sports Network (@woodwardsports) March 21, 2023
- @espn pic.twitter.com/QifgaxIisl
- If you missed any of Monday’s four press conferences, you can view them all here: C.J. Gardner-Johnson, Graham Glasgow, C.J. Moore, Michael Badgley.
- Gardner-Johnson and Aaron Glenn reuniting will warm your heart today:
Is this what you had in mind https://t.co/yZusvMiqXD pic.twitter.com/AQJAE05RB5— Detroit Lions (@Lions) March 20, 2023