"It's a great day for the Indianapolis Colts, T.Y. Hilton and his family," Colts general manager Ryan Grigson said in the official announcement. "We're extremely happy as an organization to ensure that T.Y. will continue to be a part of our journey for many years to come. His daily excellence on and off the field is a shining example of an individual striving for greatness and what it truly means to be a Colt."
"Drew Rosenhaus confirms five-year extension for $65 million with $39 million guaranteed," tweeted George Bremer of the Herald Bulletin in Anderson.
"[The Colts] showed interest that they wanted me and I also wanted to be here," Hilton said Thursday, according to ESPN's Mike Wells. "There's no place I rather be than here. This organization is great. I love being here. I didn't want to go into the season with it on my mind. I'm ready to play. [Go] to practice and give it my all."
Hilton, 25, emerged as Indy's No. 1 option in 2013 when he eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark, but 2014 represented his true breakthrough. He reeled in 82 receptions for 1,345 yards and seven touchdowns in 15 games.
His teammates were quick to congratulate him on Twitter following the announcement:
The 2012 third-round pick surpassed Reggie Wayne on the depth chart and established himself as one of the NFL's most dangerous deep threats. Colts owner Jim Irsay was well aware and expressed interest in signing the speedster to a new deal prior to the start of the 2015 campaign, via ESPN.com's Mike Wells:
We have a little time with trying to work on a few extensions. There's no reason Anthony Castonzo and T.Y. Hilton can't get done. Look for us to keep core players and our top players. I don't think it'll be a distraction. I can't see why we can't get something done before Labor Day with T.Y. and Anthony.
Hilton shared Irsay's hope of negotiating a new contract, but it wasn't something he allowed himself to worry about during preparations for the season, according to Steve Andress of Colts.com:
For me, I'm just going out here and having fun. That's between my agent, the Colts and whatever they decide to do. I'm just out here having fun, bonding with my teammates, and just continue to get better. For me, you want to get it out of the way, but it's nothing I can do. Control what I can control.
Indy's offense will be stacked in 2015, even with Andre Johnson on the tail end of his career. Donte Moncrief flashed some potential as a rookie, and tight ends Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener are capable options. The Colts also used their first-round pick on wideout Phillip Dorsett and brought in veteran back Frank Gore in free agency.
Luck and Hilton have had excellent chemistry since the very start and are now in line to grow together as a tandem, much like Peyton Manning and Marvin Harrison previously did for the Colts.
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