It took some last-second negotiating, but the Indianapolis Colts ultimately got over the line and re-signed wide receiver TY Hilton this week.
Oddly enough, it was club legend Reggie Wayne that helped get this deal over the line.
The move addresses a massive question mark at the WR position, and the fact that it got done for just $10 million and without multi-year security, which Hilton was reportedly keen on banking once free agency got underway, suggests that the Colts made out like bandits.
What made the deal all the sweeter is that Hilton reportedly turned down more money from the Baltimore Ravens, whose offense was tailor-made for his skillset given Lamar Jackson’s ability to extend plays, further proving that returning to Indianapolis was at the top of his wishlist.
Hilton reportedly had multiple teams vying for his services. For somebody testing free agency for the first time in his career, sorting through several offers couldn’t have been easy. As it turns out, however, he navigated through it (mostly) without a whimper.
Appearing on former teammate Pat McAfee’s show this week, Hilton revealed that another former teammate and Colts legend in Wayne helped advise him throughout the process and ultimately played a huge role in his decision to re-sign with Indianapolis.
Colts legend Reggie Wayne helped convince TY Hilton to re-sign with Indy.
"“The one person that I got to give a lot of credit to is Reggie Wayne,” Hilton told McAfee. “I call him ’87.’ He helped me out a lot. He answered the phone when I needed. He was a big help all the way through this whole thing. I’d give anything for him. He’s a real big brother to me. I love him to death. For him to be there every step of the way with me, all the way until I signed, it was incredible.”"
Does it get any better than this? While Hilton’s new deal doesn’t confirm that he’ll retire with Indy, which is apparently his ultimate goal, signing a one-year deal and taking less money during an offseason in which the league’s salary cap was astronomically low compared to expectations isn’t the worst thing in the world.
Assuming Hilton remains healthy for most of the year and reaps the benefits of a younger, more athletic quarterback in Carson Wentz being under center, as many expect him to do, there’s no reason to think Indy won’t consider another reunion next offseason.
Still, the fact that Wayne, one of the greatest players and two best receivers in Colts franchise history was instrumental in Hilton’s decision-making process makes it that much more savory. People forget that Hilton and Wayne were teammates for three seasons (2012 to 2014), and this proves they’ve maintained a strong relationship during the latter’s retirement.
Short of getting the whole band back together (Andrew Luck, Robert Mathis, etc.) from the early 2010s era of Colts football, Wayne lending a helping hand to Hilton was really the best-case scenario for the fan base as far as content is concerned.