STACKED @PatMcAfeeShow 2.0 podcast— Gump Cathcart (@bubbagumpino) March 24, 2022
Pat, @OfficialAJHawk & the boys chat abaht tonight’s Sweet 16 matchups
@DariusJButler dives into what the Colts still need to add after trading for Matt Ryan
@ShamsCharania breaks dahn all things NBAhttps://t.co/1XNdIEZkdt pic.twitter.com/JArFMsBSPo
Although the Cowboys re-signed wideout Michael Gallup, Dallas did trade Amari Cooper to the Cleveland Browns earlier this offseason, meaning there could be an opening for their third receiver spot in a loaded offense with starting quarterback Dak Prescott (and also featuring #1 wide receiver CeeDee Lamb).
For what it’s worth, the Colts still have interest in potentially re-signing Hilton, but it may come down to how it did last offseason, regarding his garnered market value—and now, at age 32, whether he’s open to increasingly more limited playing time:
“So, I had a good talk with T.Y. after the season,” said Colts general manager Chris Ballard at the NFL Combine earlier this offseason. “As a couple of weeks ago, yes, he wanted to play again. We will talk again.”
“And T.Y. can still play. Like I want to make that (clear), I know unfortunately he got hurt for half the season, but T.Y. can still play. One, because he’s about as smart as any player I’ve ever been around. I mean he just understands how to play the game. Even though his skill-set might not be quite the same as it was three to four years ago, his instincts and level of competence in terms of understanding what’s happening, he knows how to play.”
The Colts need to surround Matt Ryan with some good receivers too, and while his Pro Bowl days may be long gone, Hilton may be set up to have more success with the longtime ex-Atlanta Falcons veteran quarterback than his Indy predecessor Carson Wentz (the former who should provide better yards after catch opportunities and superior anticipation):
This is purely speculation (my previous tweets were not ) but I do think Hilton could be more productive with Matt Ryan on slants, curls etc. Better ball placement, timing. I could see signing him if it’s cheap. https://t.co/Ft2IhU792Z— Stephen Holder (@HolderStephen) March 23, 2022
That being said, it wouldn’t be shocking if the Colts elected to move on from Hilton all together, as another free agent veteran wideout, Julio Jones, could be another option—given his historically great connection and familiarity with Ryan previously.
Hilton has probably lost a half step, has struggled with injuries in recent seasons, and given his small stature and increased football age, doesn’t offer much as a blocker and won’t be playing special teams any time soon—or ever again.
However, Hilton is one of the franchise’s all-time greats at wideout, has some gas left in the tank, and can still add value as a proven deep threat—and as a veteran leader in the locker room. Plus, he may be more willing to stay with another franchise legend, Reggie Wayne, now as the Colts’ new wide receivers coach—who was his old mentor as ex-teammates.
There remains a chance Hilton could return, but it doesn’t appear that the Colts will go above and beyond to keep him again—and ‘The Ghost’ may be thinking about signing soon:
— TY Hilton (@TYHilton13) March 22, 2022