The turnaround of the Cincinnati Bengals over the last two seasons has been nothing short of dramatic. From the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 draft following a two-win season, Cincinnati found themselves just seconds away from a Super Bowl title.
While drafting great young talent like Joe Burrow, Tee Higgins, Logan Wilson and others played a large role in the change, key veteran free agent signings from outside of the organization have had just as much impact. In some ways, such as leadership, even more of an impact.
No player on the roster personifies that more than cornerback Mike Hilton. After spending his career with the rival Pittsburgh Steelers, Hilton signed a three-year contract with the Bengals prior to the 2021 season and became an instant impact player both on the field and in the locker room.
NFL analyst Cameron Wolfe appeared on Good Morning Football and explained in more detail exactly what Hilton has done for the Bengals.
The MOST underrated DBs in the NFL@_jlove20's picks:— Good Morning Football (@gmfb) July 13, 2023
2. Jevon Holland @MiamiDolphins
3. @MikeHilton_28@HoustonTexans @Seahawks @Eagles @AtlantaFalcons @Bengals
Who are we missing?⬇️ pic.twitter.com/b45hqD7d4b
“I’ve been in the locker room,” Wolfe said. “He talked about being a Pittsburgh Steeler and looking at the Cincinnati Bengals as maybe the little brother. Then he goes over to the Bengals and helps make them big brother.”
Hilton boasts a 3-1 record against his former club, one of those wins coming in 2021 when he picked off former quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and ran it all the way back for a touchdown.
Hilton will have something to contribute on the field again this season, but he will also help young players such as Cam Taylor-Britt and DJ Turner as they grow into their roles as well.
We’re glad Mike is on our side of the rivalry now.