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T.Y. Hilton to Reggie Wayne: "I love you 87 and will miss you"

T.Y. Hilton has come to regard Reggie Wayne as his brother and sent a series of emotional tweets today as the Colts announced that they won't re-sign the veteran receiver.

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Ever since the Colts moved up to draft T.Y. Hilton in the third round of the 2012 draft, the young receiver received support from the veteran Reggie Wayne.  Over time, Hilton began to refer to Wayne as his mentor and as his brother, and it was clear all along that Hilton really didn't want to see Wayne leave.

Today, the Colts announced that they won't re-sign Reggie Wayne, however, ending his amazing tenure with the team.  And while a number of Colts players and former Colts players took to social media to express their appreciation for Reggie, none of them were more emotional than T.Y. Hilton.

Hilton has really taken the reigns from Wayne as the team's number one receiver over the past two years and looks to continue the incredible transition of receivers that the Colts have had.  First it was Marvin Harrison, and then the team drafted Reggie Wayne.  Reggie learned from Marvin for a number of years before Harrison retired.  Then Reggie Wayne played for a number of years until the Colts drafted T.Y. Hilton.  T.Y. learned from Reggie for three years before now Reggie has moved on as well.  And now, it's T.Y.'s job alone.  Of course, the Colts need to give him help at the receiver position, but he's ready to continue taking those steps forward.  Through his first three years in the league, Hilton has caught 214 passes for 3,289 yards and 19 touchdowns.  In 2014, he made his first Pro Bowl while playing all season as the team's top receiving target.

It will be different in 2015 not having number 87 on the field, but T.Y. Hilton has been learning from his big brother over the past three years and is more than capable of filling in.  As he said to Reggie in his tweet, "Ima hold it down for you."  And there's certainly no reason to think he won't.