The Colts’ offense is expected to take a step forward in 2022, but the team’s pass-catching corps is relatively lacking in experience. Throughout the offseason, the possibility of another deal being struck which would keep T.Y. Hilton in the fold has remained, though such a move now appears unlikely.
During a press conference earlier this week, general manager Chris Ballard said, “Do I think T.Y. can still play? Absolutely. But right now, I like where we’re at” (Twitter link via ESPN’s Stephen Holder). That echoes the sentiment expressed by owner Jim Irsay back in May on the subject of re-signing the 32-year-old.
Hilton was reported at that time to have received interest from other teams, but a reunion with the Colts has remained the most logical move for the veteran. Indianapolis has Michael Pittman Jr. in line to once again operate as their No. 1 wideout, after he topped 1,000 yards in his second NFL season. The team also added Alec Pierce in the second round of this year’s draft, and Parris Campbell, who has struggled to remain healthy, projects as the final member of their starting trio.
The Colts could still find themselves in need of a field-stretching wideout, though. Hilton has certainly been that throughout his career, and now sits third on the franchise’s all-time receiving list. He had by far the least productive campaign of his 10-year tenure in 2021, however, with just 23 receptions and 331 yards. Barring injury, a rotational role would be likely – something which would represent a stark change for a player with 121 starts to his name.
With just over $6MM in cap space, the Colts could afford a modest deal for Hilton, though it would of course need to be smaller than the $8MM pact he played on last season. Absent an offer from Indianapolis or elsewhere, retirement may once again be on the table, as it was following the 2021 campaign.