4 takeaways from Steelers losses early in free agency

Mike Hilton #28 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Mike Hilton #28 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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The Steelers have already lost a number of big names in free agency with more likely to come. Here’s what it means for the team. 

The Steelers haven’t necessarily had an active free agency, but fans have been quick to refresh Twitter to see which of their players has been snatched up by an opposing team. Already, there has been a surprising amount of action in this department. While Pittsburgh was able to retain cornerback Cameron Sutton and offensive tackle Zach Banner, their losses have drastically outweighed the few players they have been able to bring back so far.

Though a few big names like JuJu Smith-Schuster, Alejandro Villanueva, and James Conner are currently left unsigned, the Steelers have already waved goodbye to key players like Bud Dupree, Mike Hilton, Matt Feiler, and Tyson Alualu. They also recently cut linebacker Vince Williams. Here are my early takeaways from Pittsburgh’s free-agent losses early on:

Losing Mike Hilton stings

I’m not going to lie, when I saw how reasonable of a deal cornerback Mike Hilton signed for, I really wished the Steelers could have found the money to match his offer. The Cincinnati Bengals were able to obtain the physical nickel cornerback on a 4-year, $24 million deal. His $6 million per year cap hit is lower than Sportrac initially projected, and Pittsburgh could have found a way to make this work.

Obviously, retaining Cameron Sutton certainly helps soften the blow. Sutton’s deal looks terrific at 2 years, $9 million, and I do think the Steelers made the right choice between the two. However, you can never have too many good cornerbacks, and Hilton was just a perfect fit in Pittsburgh. It made me sad to see him go.