In case you didn’t know, the Pittsburgh Steelers will return to Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, PA in exactly 7 days of this article being published. With that, I decided to revive an old series we used to do as a lead up to training camp.
30 predictions in 30 days.
Myself and Simon Chester are alternating days giving a prediction for the upcoming season. Some will be team oriented, while others will be specific to individual players. Either way, read on to see the reason why we think today’s prediction will come to fruition, and why it might not come true. Give your thoughts in the comment section below the article.
Training camp is almost here! Here We Go!
Prediction: Mike Hilton will be rewarded with a new contract before the first training camp practice.
Why it will happen: Unlike some other players who want a new contract, Mike Hilton has been following the Alejandro Villanueva approach by showing up every day and putting in work. This all while not signing his Restricted Free Agent tender which was given to him this past offseason.
The Steelers love loyalty, and, like Villanueva, will often reward this loyalty with a deal they find satisfactory. The question then becomes whether or not the player finds the deal equally as satisfactory.
Hilton’s case is a tough one. After a stellar 2017 season, Hilton had a 2018 which was up-and-down. But before you feel this is a cut against Hilton, it could be viewed as a way for the Steelers to give Hilton the contract he wants. Coming off a mediocre season, and the rising cost of slot cornerbacks, the Steelers could be on a path to get Hilton cheaper than they would have last offseason.
The big question now surrounding Hilton is if he can bounce back and re-gain his 2017 form...a big if indeed for a team looking to give the player a new contract.
Why it won’t happen: Let’s be honest here. Hilton is undersized, and in 2018 it seemed as if teams were starting to pick on him when it comes to his overall lack of size. You saw teams flex tight ends and taller receivers over Hilton and abuse the mismatch.
Not a ringing endorsement for a player looking to hit a large payday.
While Hilton could bounce back in 2019, there is no guarantee he will, and this is a huge issue for a team looking to break out the checkbook and writing a hefty check. One other big factor in this scenario is the financial state of the team. The Steelers are hard up to the salary cap, and will need to make moves to free up space to make any moves. This might not even happen, which means Hilton won’t be given the contract he desires.
Then you wonder if he would sign his tender, or push his luck and holdout...but that is a scenario for another day.
What are your thoughts on this prediction? Do you think it will happen? Or are we crazy? Let us know by voting in the poll, and letting your voice be heard in the comment section below!
Will Mike Hilton get a new deal before the start of training camp??
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