While there is currently quite a bit of buzz about Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster with the 2021 free agent tampering period shout to begin on Monday, another soon-to-be-unrestricted free agent the team has, cornerback Mike Hilton, might just have him a new contract in place soon to be signed on Wednesday as well. While down the list some as far as potential free agent cornerbacks go this year, Hilton, is still expected to cash in nicely in the coming days, according to Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network on Monday morning.
“So, there’s not going to be an earth-shattering deal, but I think there’s going to be a solid chunk of cornerbacks right in that second tier that are going to make decent money,” Garafolo said. “They’re going to make seven, eight, $9 million per season. And some of them could surprise.”
After talking about how the top of the free agent marker this year figures to include the likes of Jason Verrett, Shaquill Griffin, and Patrick Peterson, Garafolo talked briefly about how Hilton figures to be in that second tier of free agents at the cornerback position.
“And you could also see a few other guys, including Mike Hilton from the Steelers,” Garafolo said. “He could make some decent money as well.”
That certainly wouldn’t be surprising and if any one Steelers free agent deserves to cash in big these next few days it is certainly Hilton. His market value figures to be between $7-$9 million. Hopefully he gets that or more so that he will bring the Steelers some nice compensatory draft pick value for 2022.
A former undrafted free agent, Hilton has been quite the find for the Steelers. The slot cornerback is now poised to finally cash in as an unrestricted free agent this coming offseason after four strong seasons with the Steelers. In 2020, Hilton was limited to playing in just 12 regular season games due to a shoulder injury. He also played in the Steelers lone playoff game against the Cleveland Browns as well.
In total, Hilton logged 463 regular season snaps on defense and 33 more on special teams. In that playing time, Hilton registered 50 total tackles, eight tackles for loss, three sacks, five quarterback hits, seven passes defensed and three interceptions. He was also credited with one special teams tackle during the regular season. In the Steelers lone playoff game, Hilton played 44 total defensive snaps and registered two total tackles.