As a key deadline looms for restricted free agents, one of the key members of this contingent is back in the fold with his team. Steelers cornerback Mike Hilton signed his second-round tender on Thursday, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets.
Hilton’s preference remains to sign a long-term deal to stay in Pittsburgh, per Schefter, but this ties him to a $3.26MM payment this year. RFAs have until June 15 to sign tenders. Otherwise, teams can withdraw them and pay players 120% of their respective 2019 salaries.
Hilton has operated as a key Steelers defender for years, manning the slot for the improved defense. Last season, the Steelers rocketed up to third in DVOA against the pass. Although 2019 additions Steven Nelson and Minkah Fitzpatrick had plenty to do with that, Hilton and Joe Haden remained key figures in the Pittsburgh defense’s rise.
Because of his undrafted status, Hilton has been eligible for a new deal since the 2018 season ended. The Steelers tendered him as an ERFA in 2019. The 26-year-old cornerback said last year he wanted to be a Steeler long-term, and that stance evidently has not changed.
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