Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Mike Hilton was hoping to sign a contract extension with the team this summer after being issued an exclusive rights tender earlier in the offseason. While Hilton did all the right things after holding off signing his tender he received from the Steelers earlier this spring, that didn’t help him any. Upon arriving to training camp on Thursday, Hilton reportedly signed his tender so he can practice with the rest of the team.
Hilton, who has been the Steelers starting slot cormeback for the last two seasons, is now scheduled to earn $645,000 in 2019 after signing his exclusive rights free agent tender on Thursday. While the Steelers could still decide to sign Hilton to an extension before the start of the 2019 regular season, such a transaction is very unlikely to happen.
Assuming Hilton doesn’t get an extension in the coming weeks, the former undrafted free agent out of Mississippi would become a restricted free agent next offseason,. The Steelers could still easily retain him with a second-round restricted tender if he has a solid season.
Hilton played nearly 600 total defensive snaps in 2018 on his way to registering 57 total tackles, 1 sack and 1 interception in addition to 8 total pass breakups. He’s expected to be the Steelers starting slot cornerback again in 2019.