It’ll be a one-year deal for the veteran receiver worth $10MM with $8MM guaranteed, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. It’s a nice payday for a player on the back half of his career. Hilton has been with the Colts ever since they drafted him back in 2012, but this offseason for the first time it looked like a divorce was possible. Both sides had insisted they would like a reunion, but we heard right before free agency opened that there had been little progress on talks and Hilton would test the market.
Another team is believed to have submitted Hilton a stronger offer, according to The Athletic’s Stephen Holder (on Twitter). But the 31-year-old wideout opted to stay in Indianapolis. The Chiefs were not the team that offered more to Hilton, per Holder.
Owner Jim Irsay had said back in January he’d want to see the franchise icon return if the financials could be worked out. Hilton had been one of the top receivers left on the market. The wideout market in general has been heating up recently, with big names like Hilton, Kenny Golladay, and Will Fuller all signing over the past week. Teams like the Ravens looking to add a veteran pass-catcher are running out of top options.
He was still dominant as recently as 2018, when he put up 1,270 yards and six touchdowns in 14 games. Injuries limited him to ten contests in 2019, but he bounced back with a healthy 2020.
He wasn’t a true number one option as Indy had a lot of mouths to feed in a diverse offense, but he developed a rapport with Philip Rivers down the stretch and finished with a solid 56 catches for 762 yards and five scores in 15 games.
Hilton made four straight Pro Bowls from 2014-17, and although he’ll turn 32 this season, showed last year he’s still got something left in the tank. He’ll be catching passes from his fourth quarterback in as many years in 2021, this time from Carson Wentz.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.