T.Y. Hilton will have a hard time demanding from the Colts a deal in the Dez Bryant and Demaryius Thomas range, Stephen Holder of the Indianapolis Star reports.
However, the contracts agreed to just prior to the deadline for signing franchise players on Wednesday are not irrelevant where Hilton is concerned.
Hilton is entering the final year of his rookie contract, a deal he outperformed long ago because of his selection in the third round of the 2012 draft and slotting into the requisite contract (he will eclipse $1 million for the first time this season when he makes $1.542 million).
Here’s where the Bryant and Thomas deals matter in relation to Hilton.
First, there’s the obvious: The contracts signed Wednesday push the salary range for wide receivers higher. That doesn’t mean Hilton is worth the same money. But with Bryant getting a reported $45 million in guarantees – most ever for a wide receiver – other receivers in line for extensions, like Hilton, will be empowered.
When Hilton said recently, “If they want to pay me, they’ll pay me,” it certainly didn’t exactly suggest he’s feeling warm and fuzzy.
Another thing you should know about Hilton: In my view, you should not anticipate him taking a hometown discount to remain with the Colts. Most players don’t do this anyway, but it’s worth discussing here because the Colts have so many financial commitments to make in the near term that it’s doubtful everyone will receive every penny they seek. Holders writes that from everything he’s seen and heard, Hilton taking less money to stay here is unlikely.
Hilton’s circumstances are not identical to those of Bryant and Thomas. They are more accomplished players and their contract situations were different (because of the franchise tags). The Colts are also deeper at receiver than most teams, which is clearly a factor.
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