Ranking Steelers biggest offseason losses so far in 2021

Bud Dupree #48 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
Bud Dupree #48 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /
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Mike Hilton #28 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

3. Mike Hilton

Some would argue that Mike Hilton’s loss should be even higher on this list, and that may prove to be the case. However, I have Hilton as the third biggest loss for the Steelers this offseason. Hilton embodied everything it meant to be a Pittsburgh Steeler. He was a ferocious player who was not lacking in physicality and his ability to tackle from the slot cornerback position was unmatched.

After another solid season in 2020, Hilton inked a four-year, $24 million deal with the Cincinnati Bengals, and his absence from the team will likely be felt this year. Pittsburgh was able to retain cornerback Cameron Sutton, who in all honesty is a better cover corner with the versatility to play on the outside. However, he’s not the same level of tackler that Hilton is and Hilton’s ability to blitz from the edge was impressive.

The Steelers will likely try to groom another cornerback to play a similar role from the slot, but finding a player with the energy and willingness to sift through the traffic like Hilton did won’t be easy. Pound for pound, he might have been the most physical player on the team over the past few years and he will be missed in that regard. Let’s hope Pittsburgh has someone in mind with a comparable competitive edge to take his place.