While TY Hilton’s lack of production this season isn’t all his fault, it’s clear that the Indianapolis Colts need to move in a different direction.
As the second-longest tenured Colt on the roster, T.Y. Hilton has seen a lot. He has played at a high level for most of his nine seasons in the NFL. He was in the same draft class as Andrew Luck and was the QB’s favorite target over the course of his career. Now though, Hilton is a shell of himself.
Watching Hilton try to run deep routes has been painful this season. He doesn’t have the burst he once did off the line of scrimmage. He has to fight more than ever to get past his defender and he doesn’t exactly have the size to make that happen. It also doesn’t look like he has the straight-line speed he used to possess.
It’s not Hilton’s fault this has happened. Injuries over the last couple of seasons have sapped his ability to break away from defenders. He’s no longer the deep ball threat that he was brought in to be. Now, with his contract up at the end of the season, it’s time to let the man go.
The Colts haven’t used Hilton well over the last two seasons, but Hilton should still be better.
Hilton’s numbers have not been good this season. He only has 33 catches for 404 yards. He just scored his first touchdown all season in Week 12 and he’s only missed one game in 2020. Last season, he logged just over 500 yards in 10 starts. It’s clear the effectiveness is no longer there.
Quarterback play certainly has something to do with those numbers, but Hilton is 31 now. Receivers don’t get faster as they age. Michael Pittman and Parris Campbell are the future at the position. Even Marcus Johnson has shown to be better on deep passing routes. There are younger options who are better than Hilton at what he’s supposed to bring to the table.
Hilton is without a doubt a legendary Colt, but with the team moving in a new direction and the veteran no longer able to bring a unique skill set to the offense, general manager Chris Ballard has to let the veteran explore his options in free agency and find a new No. 1 wideout this offseason.