T.Y. Hilton could have left the Colts for the franchise’s old home of Baltimore and a multi-year deal with the Ravens.
He didn’t, instead choosing to stay with the only club he’s known for the duration of his professional career. Hilton is sticking around on a one-year deal with the Colts because he said it felt like the right move, and he might find a natural fit with his new quarterback, Carson Wentz, if history serves as any sort of indicator.
“He has some Andrew Luck traits, man,” Hilton said of Wentz on Thursday. “He can get out of the pocket. He can make the incredible throws. He’s a special talent, man, especially when he’s standing up in the pocket delivering throws and his ability to avoid guys and make plays with his legs or with his arm. So he’s a special talent.”
And if anyone knew what a Luck-ish quarterback might look like, it’s Hilton, who entered the NFL with Luck in 2012 and played with him until Luck’s surprise retirement just before the start of the 2019 season. If Wentz can produce with Hilton like Luck once did, the receiver might have been a step ahead of the rest of us when making his free-agent decision.
Luck and Hilton became a dynamite pairing in Indianapolis, peaking with Hilton’s career-best 2016 campaign in which he caught 91 passes for 1,448 yards and six scores, reaching his third of four straight Pro Bowls in that season. Two years later, Luck and Hilton teamed up to produce again, with Hilton finishing with 76 receptions for 1,270 yards and six touchdowns as the Colts finished 10-6 and upset the AFC South champion Texans in the Wild Card Round.
That was Hilton’s last premier season. At 31 years old, the backstretch doesn’t appear to be too long for the veteran, but he could finish strong with Wentz, who has his own issues to work out after a dreadful 2020 campaign with the Eagles that saw him benched and eventually traded. Maybe the two are a perfect fit for each other — or maybe that won’t be the case. We’ll know this fall.
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