T.Y. Hilton, Colts to Discuss Contract in Free Agency, GM Chris Ballard Says

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIApril 22, 2022

Indianapolis Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton (13) reacts after a missed reception during the second half of an NFL football game against the Las Vegas Raiders, Sunday, Jan. 2, 2022, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)
AP Photo/AJ Mast

The door isn't shut on free-agent wide receiver T.Y. Hilton returning to the Indianapolis Colts.

“We’ll still have some talks with T.Y. ... I think he can still play; he can still play productive football,” Colts general manager Chris Ballard told reporters Friday (h/t Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk).

The GM added "we’ll see" in regards to a question about whether any additional talks with Hilton would wait until after the NFL draft, which takes place April 28-30.

Hilton, a four-time Pro Bowler, has spent his entire 10-year career with Indianapolis. He had 23 catches for 331 yards and three touchdowns in 10 games last year.

On Wednesday, Colts head coach Frank Reich told reporters that they would "see how things play out with T.Y."

neck injury kept him out for the first five games of the 2021 season. Hilton also suffered a quad injury and a concussion and missed one more game apiece. He ended up sitting out seven of his team's 17 games.

Hilton was one of the best wide receivers in the game earlier in his career. While that stage has passed, he can still be a productive player to round out a wideout depth chart.

His three touchdowns came in his last six games, including a four-catch, 51-yard effort at the playoff-bound Arizona Cardinals. His 2021 debut ended with four receptions (on four targets) for 80 yards versus the Houston Texans.

Pro Football Focus praised Hilton in its free-agent rankings, calling him capable of being a "low-end" No. 2 wide receiver:

Injuries continue to keep Hilton on the sidelines, but he still generated his fourth-straight season grade of 70.0+ with zero drops on 37 targets. Set to be 33 years old in 2022, Hilton will likely continue to take one-year fliers like the one-year, $8 million deal he signed with the Colts in the 2021 offseason. 

PFF added: "When healthy, Hilton is a sure-handed chain-mover who can still sneak behind the defense on occasion. He just needs to stay on the field as he heads into Year 11 of his career."

If he returns to Indianapolis, Hilton would likely slot behind No. 1 wideout Michael Pittman Jr. Hilton, Parris Campbell and Ashton Dulin would round out the top four on the depth chart.