Will TY Hilton’s late-season surge earn him a contract extension from Colts?

Jerry Trotta
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - SEPTEMBER 22: T.Y. Hilton #13 of the Indianapolis Colts takes the field before the start of the game against the Atlanta Falcons at Lucas Oil Stadium on September 22, 2019 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Bobby Ellis/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - SEPTEMBER 22: T.Y. Hilton #13 of the Indianapolis Colts takes the field before the start of the game against the Atlanta Falcons at Lucas Oil Stadium on September 22, 2019 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Bobby Ellis/Getty Images) /
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Will wideout TY Hilton’s strong finish to the season be enough to earn him a contract extension from the Colts?

While their 8-4 record would suggest otherwise, the Indianapolis Colts have been the walking definition of inconsistent this season.

From losing to Jacksonville to open the year, to rattling off consecutive wins over Green Bay and Tennessee, and nearly losing a trap game to Houston last weekend, it’s been virtually impossible to know which version of the Colts will show up on Sundays.

In many ways, the struggles of wide receiver TY Hilton have been a microcosm of Indianapolis’ unpredictability in 2020. Playing for a new contract, he genuinely could not have picked a worse time to suffer through the worst season of his career.

After disappearing for most of the year, the last two weeks have proven that Hilton still has something left in the tank. However, will his late-season arrival be enough to convince the Colts to give him a new extension?

Objectively speaking, a promising two-game surge isn’t close to being enough in terms of warranting a fresh contract. We simply can’t dismiss how invisible Hilton was through the first nine games of the season.

During that stretch, the 31-year-old registered 29 catches for 327 yards and zero touchdowns while playing 68.7% of the offensive snaps. To put those numbers into perspective, they equate to an average of 3.2 receptions and 36.3 yards per game. He also had two games with fewer than 15 receiving yards and logged more than three catches on just three occasions.

Over the last two weeks, however, Hilton has returned to form, compiling four catches for 81 yards and a touchdown (his first of the season) in Week 12 and racking up eight receptions for 110 yards — both of which were season-highs — and another TD in Sunday’s win over Houston.

Hilton acknowledged this week that there have not been any conversations with the Colts about a new contract, and that honestly isn’t surprising. Though GM Chris Ballard has jumped the gun this year to extend certain players, like defensive tackle Grover Stewart, he probably wants to wait to see if the four-time Pro Bowler can replicate this success over the remaining four games.

We hate to admit it given how much Hilton’s given to Indianapolis both on and off the field over the last eight-plus seasons, but even a strong close to the season might not be enough to convince the front office to hand him an extension.

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