Is it possible that Colts wideout TY Hilton becomes a coveted free agent thanks to his late-season surge?
The Indianapolis Colts have been full of surprises this season, but it goes without saying that star wideout TY Hilton’s sheer no-show for the first 10 games falls at the top of the list of most shocking developments.
After all, he led the team in receiving for six straight years (2013 to 2018) before a quad strain and a calf tear, which forced him to miss a combined six weeks, prevented him from repeating that feat last season.
Hilton seemingly becoming an afterthought of the Colts’ offense prompted some fans to question what he had left in the tank. In a surprising turn of events, however, the 31-year-old vet has flipped that narrative on its head over the last three weeks, proving that he’s still more than capable of being the No. 1 receiver on a playoff team.
That begs the question: What will this hot streak mean for Hilton’s free agent market once the offseason rolls around?
If you asked us, we’d say that a promising three-game sample size probably isn’t enough to make potential suitors forget how much Hilton struggled (or wasn’t featured) for the majority of the campaign. For context, he failed to eclipse the 70-yard receiving threshold and logged three or fewer receptions in six of his first nine games.
Since then, however, Hilton has morphed back into the reliable target monster he was for the first eight seasons of his career. Over the last three weeks, the former third-round pick is averaging 5.6 catches for 92.3 yards and 1.3 touchdowns, changing the entire complexion of the Colts’ offense in the process.
As long as Hilton keeps up this level of production over the remaining three regular season games and into the playoffs, we see no reason why he shouldn’t command a sizable market in the offseason. In our eyes, he should be one of the most sought-after receivers, right alongside the likes of Allen Robinson, JuJu Smith-Schuster and Kenny Golladay, and this only makes his return less likely.
Though Hilton likely won’t be guaranteed as much money as those studs — each of whom are much younger than him — he should still be a top target among teams in need of a wideout, and he has his late-season surge to thank for that.