The Indianapolis Colts announced today that they have agreed to a contract extension with wide receiver T.Y. Hilton. According to multiple reports, it is a five-year extension worth $65 million with $39 million guaranteed, a deal that averages around $13 million per year.
"It's a great day for the Indianapolis Colts, T.Y. Hilton and his family," Colts general manager Ryan Grigson said in a statement released by the team. "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."
Through his first three seasons in the NFL, the former third round pick in 2012 has played in 46 games and has caught 214 passes for 3,289 yards and 19 touchdowns, averaging 15.4 yards per catch. Hilton is just the third Colts player in team history to have multiple 1,000 yard receiving seasons, joining only Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne. He also holds team records for the most receptions, receiving yards, and 100-yard games through a player's first three years while ranking second in receiving touchdowns in that same time span.
For much of the past two seasons, Hilton has been the Colts' only consistent receiving option, but he has still done a very good job, making the Pro Bowl in 2014 for his play. He has been Andrew Luck's favorite wide receiver and the hope was that it would continue long-term. Now, Hilton is back, and Luck's go-to guy will be with his quarterback long-term.
So what about his contract? The five-year, $65 million deal with $39 million guaranteed puts him in elite company. His average of $13 million per year would put him fourth in the league, while his $39 million guaranteed is fourth as well. The deals that the Cowboys' Dez Bryant and the Broncos' Demaryius Thomas received this offseason averaged $14 million per year, so this isn't far off.
Actually, I think $13 million is absolutely fair, and it was actually my guess earlier. I had thought that Hilton was worth around $12 million a year, but that was before the Bryant and Thomas deals raised the market so I thought that would raise it to $12.5 or $13 million for Hilton. It turns out that's exactly what happened, so I don't think the Colts really overpaid that much to keep their star wideout around. Plus, Hilton's deal will look better over the next few years as more and more receivers continue to set the market higher and as the salary cap continues to increase. Furthermore, the deal is reportedly added on to the end of Hilton's current contract, so he still has the final year of his rookie deal included - on that would pay him a base salary of $1.542 million and give him a cap hit of $1,673,850. So in reality, the Colts have Hilton locked up through 2020 on a six-year, $66.542 million deal - one that averages only $11.1 million per year. Again, those rookie contracts are incredible bargains for teams. For all intents and purposes, though, it's a five-year, $65 million extension.
Here's how some current and former Colts reacted to the news:
Congrats Big Bro @TYHilton13 !! Like we say " RESPECT"— Donte Moncrief (@drm_12) August 13, 2015
T-Y T-Y T-Y Congrats to our brother @TYHilton13 .... Let's do the damn thing— Matt Overton (@MattOverton_LS) August 13, 2015
So happy 4 @TYHilton13.. Great human who has done nothing but ball out since he arrived in the great state of Indiana Congrats wealthy ass— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) August 13, 2015