According to his social media accounts, Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Mike Hilton is already busy training for the 2021 season. As for what team Hilton will be playing for in 2021, that’s yet to be determined as the former undrafted free agent out of Mississippi is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent in less than two weeks from now. Nick Shook of NFL.com, however, believes that Hilton’s new home in 2021 might just be on the West Coast.
In his recent post on one free agent fit for each NFC team, Shook has Hilton landing with the San Francisco 49ers this offseason. Below is his reasoning for linking the Steelers slot cornerback to the 49ers.
The 49ers are going to say goodbye to Richard Sherman and likely Jason Verrett, and they also need to get younger at the position. A favorite of mine for the last couple of seasons because of his flair for being in the right place at the right time, Hilton would be an excellent fit in the 49ers’ defense. With around $12.5 million in cap space, San Francisco has the funds to make this happen and shore up its secondary in the process.
That’s probably not a bad shot in the dark by Shook as the 49ers would seemingly be a great fit for Hilton and they appear to have the salary cap space to work with as well. At this point, it really seems unlikely that the Steelers will ultimately be able to re-sign Hilton by March 17. Instead, they have a better chance of re-signing fellow cornerback Cameron Sutton, who is also scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent at the start of the new league year.
What is Hilton’s current market value right now? Possibly as high as around $8-$9 million per season. After all, that’s about what Indianapolis Colts slot cornerback Kenny Moore makes right now, and he and Hilton are comparable players. Hilton is also much better against the run than Moore is.
If Hilton does ultimately sign elsewhere in the next few weeks, hope that he cashes in big with a lot of guaranteed money. He certainly deserves to finally get paid and assuming he does, the Steelers will get nice compensatory draft pick value for losing him in free agency.