Mike Hilton says he would ‘love to be back’ in Pittsburgh in 2021

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Allison Koehler
·2 min read
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The legal tampering window has opened, and free agency kicks off on Wednesday. One of the Steelers’ top pending free agents is cornerback Mike Hilton.

Hilton’s versatile talents are likely to outprice him in Pittsburgh, but you never know what general manager Kevin Colbert has up his sleeve. Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported earlier on Monday that the Steelers intend to re-sign him.

The Steelers struggled for many seasons to find the right secondary combo, but Hilton was a big reason why the unit finally found success.

Hilton joined “Movin’ the Chains” Pat Kirwan and former Steelers quarterback Jim Miller on a recent episode and shared his thoughts on the Steeler Way.

“It’s a special place,” Hilton said about Pittsburgh. “From top to bottom. Starting with the Rooneys, they’re a family of tradition,” said Hilton. “How much they put into the organization to get it to where it is to this point. It starts with them and trickles down from there.”

“Everybody knows when you become a Pittsburgh Steeler, it means much more. It’s all about winning and trying to get that Lombardi Trophy. Their culture is second-to-none, and I enjoyed my last four years here. If possible, I would love to be back.”

In 2016, Hilton signed as an undrafted free agent with the Jacksonville Jaguars but was cut before the season started. He was then part of the New England Patriots practice squad until he was cut that December.

Pittsburgh snapped Hilton up in January 2017, and he’s been one of the franchise’s best street free agent signings in recent history.

This is Hilton’s first go-round with free agency. He was tendered as a restricted free agent last June.

Time will soon tell if the Steelers can work out a new contract with the cornerback. Hilton’s coming off a one-year, $3.259 million contract, and his market value is estimated at three-years, $23.533 million ($7.8 million salary).

Unless Colbert has something really creative up his sleeve, Hilton, unfortunately, will be wearing another team’s uniform in 2021.

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NFL free agency 2021: Steelers free agency primer