Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton has emerged as one of the NFL's top-tier receivers despite just three seasons in the league. In 52 career games (including playoffs), Hilton has caught 250 passes for 3,893 yards and 21 touchdowns, averaging 15.6 yards per reception and 74.9 yards per game. He has recorded 21 games in which he has topped 100 yards. In 2014, Hilton either set or tied career highs for receptions (82), yards (1,345), and touchdowns (7), making his first Pro Bowl. By all indications, the duo of Andrew Luck and T.Y. Hilton will be a staple of the Colts' offense for years to come.
Or will it? That's the question that many fans have begun pondering in recent days, after the team used a first round pick on a wide receiver in last week's NFL Draft by taking Phillip Dorsett - a player very similar to Hilton. And with Hilton's contract up after the 2015 season and paydays for other stars like Luck coming soon as well, many have wondered whether the Colts plan on letting Hilton walk after the season and replacing him with Dorsett.
It does make sense as to why people are wondering that, but that doesn't seem to be the case at all. Nothing has changed regarding the Colts' desire to bring back T.Y. Hilton next offseason, and he will be one of their top priorities, along with left tackle Anthony Castonzo and the mega-deal for Luck. Wondering about whether the Colts will let one of the tight ends (Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen) walk is something that is a very real possibility, but Hilton is a priority over them. Simply put, the plan is still for Hilton to be around long-term with the Colts.
Don't believe me? Here's what the Indianapolis Star's Stephen Holder had to say about the subject:
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">One thing to point out. I am hearing the Dorsett pick is NOT indicative of concerns about Colts keeping Hilton long term. Wasn't a factor</p>— Stephen Holder (@HolderStephen) <a href="https://twitter.com/HolderStephen/status/594162023291867136">May 1, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">You are correct. That is totally false. Have I mentioned Andre Johnson turns 34 this summer? They want TY long term. <a href="https://t.co/AO2o8yoNei">https://t.co/AO2o8yoNei</a></p>— Stephen Holder (@HolderStephen) <a href="https://twitter.com/HolderStephen/status/595021136619966465">May 4, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
Holder makes a good point by noting that Andre Johnson is soon to be 34 years old. Furthermore, while there are high hopes for Duron Carter, we have yet to see him on the field for an NFL team yet and so there's a lot of unknown there. So while this year the wide receiver position looks to be absolutely stacked (Hilton, Johnson, Donte Moncrief, Dorsett, and Carter), that might not be the case in a year or two. So that's where Dorsett comes in, as he'll be able to help the team both this year and in the future. Imagine the trio of T.Y. Hilton, Phillip Dorsett, and Donte Moncrief for the next few seasons for Andrew Luck - that'll be one good passing attack.
None of this is to say that it's a complete given that the Colts will re-sign T.Y. Hilton, but let's not act like the drafting of Phillip Dorsett signifies that the Colts are planning to move on from their star wideout. That's not the case, and it is fully expected that Hilton will be in Indianapolis long-term. Only now, he'll have yet another fast, talented wide receiver playing alongside him, and that's not a bad thing.