According to ‘The Ghost’ himself on ‘The Pat McAfee Show’, Indianapolis Colts team owner Jim Irsay ‘closed the deal’ in keeping the longtime wideout great, T.Y. Hilton, with the only NFL franchise he’s ever known since 2012:
After praying through the decision process @TYHilton13 asked God to show him a sign— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) March 25, 2021
"@JimIrsay texts me.. I said there goes my sign right there. When he texted me that's when we got it done...
I told him the number that I wanted & they got to it" #PatMcAfeeShowLIVE pic.twitter.com/zzcwjMofLd
Of course, Hilton signed a 1-year, $10 million deal with the Colts on Wednesday.
In the process, Hilton confirmed an earlier report, which The Athletic’s Stephen Holder also corroborated, that the Pro Bowl veteran wide receiver turned down more money and years from another NFL team in free agency—which Hilton indicated on Thursday was the Baltimore Ravens.
Now, does that mean that Irsay made an ‘executive order’ to general manager Chris Ballard?
Not necessarily, but maybe a little here?
Ballard potentially had a more prudent price-tag for Hilton in mind (and was going to stick to his guns as principle), but given Colts fans’ recent strong public outcry to ‘Bring T.Y. home’ and Irsay’s desire to take care of one of his franchise’s all-time greats—having him hopefully retire in Horseshoe Blue—and the underlying result here makes sense.
It’s not as though Hilton cannot be a productive wideout for the Colts and proven deep threat anymore—especially with the stronger armed Carson Wentz starting behind center.
Either way, whether it was ultimately Irsay or Ballard’s doing (or both), the Colts budged a bit.
Even if that means the Colts arguably slightly overpaid.
However, given that the Ravens already offered more money/years per the source himself, Hilton, and it appears that the Colts offer should still be considered pretty reasonable--especially given that it’s only on a one-year deal.
Given the recent public support, his Colts legacy in mind, and perhaps newfound optimism with Wentz as his quarterback, Hilton took less money/years to stay in Indianapolis (which shouldn’t be overlooked either).
He also heavily consulted with fellow Colts franchise great (and his former teammate) Reggie Wayne—who underwent a similar process in ‘first-time’ free agency in 2012.
In any case, one of the greatest wide receivers in all-time franchise history remains a Colt—for at least one more season, while simultaneously helping the team win football games—as Hilton still has some gas left in the tank to give.