The Bengals are continuing to add to the defense. Cincinnati has agreed to terms on a deal with free agent cornerback Mike Hilton, a source told Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter link). It’s a four-year pact for Hilton, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports (tweet via Ben Baby of ESPN).
The four-year deal is worth $24MM with $8.5MM coming to Hilton in the first year, Rapoport tweets. The Bengals signed fellow corner Chidobe Awuzie to a three-year deal earlier this morning, and added defensive end Trey Hendrickson on a massive four-year, $60MM deal last night. With Hilton and Awuzie now in tow and William Jackson III looking likely to depart in free agency, Cincy’s secondary is going to look completely different in 2021.
Hilton entered the league as an UDFA out of Ole Miss in 2016. He initially spent time with the Jaguars and Patriots but was cut in both places before landing on Pittsburgh’s practice squad. He quickly carved out a role with the Steelers, and was a big part of their secondary the past few years. He’ll likely be the Bengals’ new slot corner.
This past season he appeared in 12 games, starting six, and playing around 45 percent of the defensive snaps in total. Despite only being on the field half the time he managed to rack up three sacks, eight tackles for loss, seven passes defended, three interceptions, and two fumble recoveries. That’s a lot of playmaking.