The Colts and T.Y. Hilton are working “diligently” on a contract extension, but there’s no definitive timeline for a deal in place, Rand Getlin of NFL Network reported on Monday (Twitter link). Agent Drew Rosenhaus, appearing today at Colts camp to discuss Hilton’s deal in person, offered a possible timeline of his own, suggesting that the two sides would like to get something done by Labor Day, tweets Mike Wells of ESPN.com.
“It’s one of those things where we’ve made some progress and we’re working hard at it,” Rosenhaus told reporters, including Mike Chappell of IndySportsCentral.com. “What the time frame is . . . all we can do is give it our best effort, which both sides are doing.”
Rosenhaus appeared optimistic about the Hilton negotiations, telling reporters that the wide receiver “wants to be here for his career” (Twitter link via Ian Rapoport of NFL.com). Colts owner Jim Irsay also seemed hopeful about locking up Hilton when he discussed the topic last week, indicating he didn’t see any reason why the two sides couldn’t work something out within the next several weeks.
For an agreement to be reached, the Colts and Rosenhaus will have to reach a compromise on Hilton’s value. The agent will undoubtedly be seeking the same sort of five-year, $70MM deal signed by Dez Bryant and Demaryius Thomas last month, making the case that his client is the Colts’ No. 1 receiver, having racked up over 160 receptions and 2,400 yards over the last two years.
On the other hand, the Colts could make the case that the 5’10” Hilton isn’t an elite No. 1 receiver or a red-zone threat like Bryant or Thomas, pointing to Randall Cobb as a more apt comparison — Cobb, who hauled in 91 balls and scored 12 touchdowns in 2014, signed a four-year, $40MM deal with the Packers earlier this year.
If the two sides do reach an agreement, I’d expect Hilton’s annual salary to fall somewhere in between the Cobb contract and the Bryant/Thomas deals, perhaps leaning more toward $14MM per year than $10MM per year. As Jason Fitzgerald of Over the Cap observes (via Twitter), the initial figures reported on any contract may be a little inflated as well, since Rosenhaus often negotiates incentives that would make a extension’s maximum value exceed its base value.