Entering the 2017 camp, Mike Hilton was a reserve/futures contract player or one of the players every simply calls a “camp body”. After jumping around from team to team, the Steelers brought him in for training camp. There, he dominated with his physical style and run defense, so much so that he became a starter in the slot for the Steelers. He has gone on to be a solid contributor in the secondary and one of the most consistent players there.
While his story makes him easy to root for, his time with the Steelers is seemingly coming to an end. A free agent next year along with fellow slot option Cameron Sutton, the Steelers seemed poised to only bring one of them back. While Hilton has been a good CB and a natural at stopping the run, his biggest weakness is his coverage skills. This hasn’t stopped him from succeeding, but it has made him an easy player to replace.
The Steelers brought in UDFA Trajan Bandy, and he is almost a clone of Hilton. Smaller frames who excel at stopping the run means Bandy could take Hilton’s spot next year while Sutton retains his spot. Even if Bandy doesn’t pan out, Hilton will likely want a decent payday and its doubtful the Steelers will be the ones to give it to him. While his Cinderella story has been an easy one to root for, it seems like it will have to continue on a different roster.