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Steelers have difficult decision with cornerback in free agency

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin holds his season-ending meeting with the media at Steelers headquarters in Pittsburgh Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar) ORG XMIT: PAGP101

The Steelers appear to be ready to let Mike Hilton walk with upcoming contracts for defensive tackle Javon Hargrave and quarterback Bud Dupree on the horizon.

 

Nothing is set in stone, but overall the Steelers have a tough decision.

 

Through Week 17, PFF ranked Hilton as the 18th best cornerback in the league. Hilton also ranked 17th among NFL corners in allowing just 19 first-down receptions in 58 targets.

With the Steelers, Hilton was used as a sub-package defender, which makes him perfect as a third-corner option if the team is sold on Ward and Williams leading the way.

Hilton will be 26 years old next season, which means his best years are yet to come.

If it was up to other members on the defense, Hilton will be back in the black and yellow.

 

“Via Steelers Depot on Twitter, “Joe Haden on defense: “We have a lot of young ballers. I don’t know if we’ll be able to keep all of these guys. Bud starts balling. We have Mike Hilton coming up [as a restricted free agent]. … Minkah will be up.” #Steelers”

 

Here is where Hilton finds himself this offseason:

 

  • Steelers place a tender on Hilton
  • Extend Hilton
  • Hilton takes the route of first refusal

 

The Steelers have the 30th ranked cap space according to Spotrac.com. With their limited salary, the team would need to figure out a new contract to save money. Placing a tender would not help the team’s overall 2020 off-season plans.

 

According to overthecap.com, a first round tender is valued at $4.6 million, second round at $3.2 million, and original found tender at $2.1 million.

 

Hilton appears to be the middleman and it will be a hard decision when all said and done.

What do you think?

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