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Jim Irsay "optimistic" extension for T.Y. Hilton will get done

Colts owner Jim Irsay said tonight that he is "optimistic" about a long-term extension for wide receiver T.Y. Hilton, noting that their strategy is to draft good players in order to then keep those players around - such as Hilton, Andrew Luck, Anthony Castonzo, and others.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

When the Indianapolis Colts drafted wide receiver Phillip Dorsett in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft, there were some who wondered whether that was bad news for T.Y. Hilton regarding a potential contract extension in the future, since Dorsett and Hilton are similar players.  It never seemed like a legitimate worry at the time, however, and team owner Jim Irsay confirmed tonight that they expect a contract extension for Hilton at some point eventually.

Hilton isn't the only player that will need a long-term extension in the near future for the Colts, though.  Obviously, quarterback Andrew Luck will receive a mega-deal soon (quite possibly next offseason), and then left tackle Anthony Castonzo and tight ends Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen are due to be free agents next offseason as well.

Luck is the least of the Colts' concerns right now, though Irsay mentioned that there's no new progress at the moment.  There's zero doubt that the quarterback will get a long-term mega-deal to keep him in Indianapolis, though.  "There's nothing right now on Andrew," Irsay told members of the media tonight at the Colts' open mini-camp practice at Lucas Oil Stadium, according to FOX59's Mike Chappell. "Again, we know we're going to get him done. He's going to be here for a very long time."

Regarding T.Y. Hilton, Irsay mentioned that there likewise isn't any new progress to report, but added that, "it obviously takes both sides to come to a sort of compromised agreement.  I think we're optimistic.  The most critical thing is to draft great players and keep them into their second contract, and we're going to that crossroads with some key guys, like T.Y.  I do expect something to get done there, eventually for sure.''

Irsay emphasized that his philosophy is to draft great players and then keep those players.  That's what the best teams do, and the Colts have hit on some very important draft picks in recent years.  From Anthony Castonzo in 2011 (still during the Polian era) to Andrew Luck, Coby Fleener, Dwayne Allen, and T.Y. Hilton in 2012, the Colts have drafted a lot of good players and will now need to pay money to keep those players.  Luck is clearly the biggest priority, and then it seems like Hilton and Castonzo are in the second category.  The tight ends are also players that the Colts would surely like to re-sign, but it remains to be seen whether that will actually happen.

There shouldn't be much doubt about T.Y. Hilton, however, as Irsay expects an extension to get done at some point.  And, obviously, his quarterback will be around for a long time as well.

One more note about contracts from Irsay is the status of head coach Chuck Pagano, who is entering the final year of his deal.  The owner noted that it is "not an impossibility" that more negotiations will take place before the season, adding that, "I was looking forward to possibly having an extension of some length done, but we haven't been able to get there yet.  Again, we look for a great year.  We look to have continuity.  We look to keep good things going forward in terms of coaches and players.  We hope we have a great year and I hope that eventually leads to eventually a contract for Chuck."