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Steelers Place 2nd-Round Tender on CB Mike Hilton

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The Steelers have placed a second-round tender on restricted free agent cornerback Mike Hilton, securing his rights for the 2020 season, his agent told Adam Schefter of ESPN.

Hilton remains a restricted free agent. If another team wishes to sign him, they can sign him to an offer sheet, at which point the Steelers could match it or allow him to sign elsewhere and receive that team’s second-round 2021 draft pick in compensation.

The tender contract is a one-year offer for $3.259 million. Hilton can either sign the tender or he and the Steelers can negotiate a long-term contract.

The second-round tender is the middle option of the three the Steelers had available to them. A first-round tender would have come with a $4.641 million contract. An original round tender would have paid $2.133, but would have netted the Steelers only a seventh-round draft pick because Hilton joined the team as an undrafted free agent in 2016.

Hilton, 26, has become a reliable presence in the Steelers’ sub-package defenses, particularly as the best run-stopper of the Steelers’ options at slot cornerback.

In 2019, Hilton made a career-high eight starts while playing in all 16 games and secured 65 tackles, six tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks. Hilton also had an interception, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.

Hilton will re-join fellow slot corner Cameron Sutton and starters Joe Haden and Steven Nelson as the Steelers bring back all four of their top options at the position from last season.

Steelers

Highlights from Steelers Practice 9/18/20

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James Conner tested out his injured ankle and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger threw passes to JuJu Smith-Schuster, James Washington and Chase Claypool during practice on Friday, September 18, 2020.

This practice was in preparation for the Steelers week 2 game on Sunday against the Denver Broncos.

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NFL

Cam Heyward Named NFLPA Community MVP for Week 1

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Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Cam Heyward has been named NFLPA Community MVP for Week 1.

Heyward was honored for installing his first Little Free Library, a book-sharing box placed in underserved communities around the Pittsburgh area.

Little Free Library is a non-profit organization that “inspires a love of reading, builds community, and sparks creativity by fostering neighborhood book exchanges around the world.”

The installation of the book-sharing boxes marks the launch of the Rufus and Judy Jordan Literacy Project, a new initiative of the Cameron Heyward Foundation that will work to promote children’s literacy and honor his late grandparents, both of whom were lifelong educators in Pittsburgh.

Drafted in first round of the 2011 NFL Draft out of Ohio State, Heyward has spend his entire career in Pittsburgh. He is a three-time Pro Bowler, and has twice received First-Team All-Pro honors.

Heyward and the Steelers agreed to a four-year, $71.4 million contract extension on Sept. 6 that will allow him to retire in Pittsburgh and make him the highest-paid defense player over the age of 30 in NFL history.

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Steelers

Highlights from Steelers Practice 9/17/20

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The Steelers finally experienced a practice with almost everyone on the roster able to take the field. Only two players did not take part in practice before their week 2 game against Denver.

Alex Highsmith and Minkah Fitzpatrick stood out from the rest on Thursday, September 17, 2020.

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