Colts: projecting what a TY Hilton extension might look like

Here’s what a contract extension for Colts wideout TY Hilton might look like.

Since general manager Chris Ballard was hired by the Colts in 2017, he’s been outspoken about wanting to retain players that the front office had previously spent a draft pick on. To nobody’s surprise, the 51-year-old exec has backed up his words, as he’s already doled out extensions to several players — including linebacker Luke Rhodes and cornerback Kenny Moore — that were still under contract for the next season.

Indianapolis even extended quarterback Jacoby Brissett’s rookie deal before the start of the 2019 season. While agreeing to long-term deals with players on the current roster isn’t a primary concern, we fully expect this trend to continue and the Colts to get ahead the rest of the market.

That brings us to the contract situation regarding wide receiver TY Hilton, who will become a free agent in 2021 after pocketing $14.54 million this year.

Projecting TY Hilton Contract Details

The 30-year-old is fresh off his worst season as a pro, as he endured career-lows in receptions, yards and yards per reception. That can be traced to the fact that he missed six games with various lingering injuries, and while that is a cause for concern, there should be no reluctance to extend him.

For starters, he is still the Colts’ biggest threat in the passing game. A lot was to be expected of 2020 second-round pick Michael Pittman Jr., but the delayed start to training camp coupled with the likely cancelation of the preseason to help curb the spread of the coronavirus means that his development will be hindered a bit.

That only drives up Hilton’s value, which leads us to believe that something like three years for $40 million is a reasonable extension for him. That would give the four-time Pro Bowler a $13 million annual salary, which would still keep him in the 15-18 range in terms of highest-paid receivers. At 30 years old, he shouldn’t be asking for anything more than three years, but he also has plenty left in the tank to the point where $40 million isn’t outlandish. After all, Julio Jones just signed a three-year, $66 million extension with the Atlanta Falcons months before turning 31.

We’re talking about a player in Hilton who’s led Indianapolis in receiving in six of the last seven seasons.

This next contract could potentially be his last with the Colts and as an NFL player, and it’s nothing he hasn’t earned. In our eyes, a three-year, $40 million deal should appease both parties.

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