Bengals cornerback Mike Hilton shared a secondary with Minkah Fitzpatrick for the better part of two seasons in Pittsburgh, but believes he is just now playing with the NFL’s best safety in Cincinnati.
Speaking with member of the Cincinnati media Tuesday, the former Steeler described his new teammate Jessie Bates III as the best in the NFL at the position.
“He’s the best safety in the game, he just doesn’t get the respect he deserves. He makes just as many plays as Minkah (Fitzpatrick), Justin Simmons, all those guys,” Hilton said. “The league is really starting to notice how much of an impact player he is.”
While Bates did have a breakout season in 2020, Fitzpatrick does already have two First-Team All-Pro selections to his credit, and Hilton was clearly attempting to hype up his new teammate, as opposed to tear down his former one.
That being said, it has been recent run of disrespect for Fitzpatrick. Madden 22 rated him as the tenth-best safety in the NFL just last week.
The Steelers and Bengals meet for the first time this season on Sept. 26 at Heinz Field.