T.Y. Hilton has spent his first nine NFL seasons with the Indianapolis Colts. He’s also a free agent, and it feels like not much more than a coin flip’s chance the Colts will re-sign him. With his career closer to the end than the beginning, finding a team with a legit chance to win a Super Bowl is a sure priority.
Sheil Kapadia of The Athletic has made some free agency predictions. He has predicted the Kansas City Chiefs to sign Hilton.
The Chiefs have arguably the league’s best tight end in Travis Kelce, and one of the top wide receivers in the league in Tyreek Hill. But after that it gets pretty thin for proven weapons, even as the singular brilliance of Patrick Mahomes raises everyone’s floor.
The Chiefs restructured Sammy Watkins’ contract last offseason to keep him around. Now a free agent himself, coming off another injury-riddled season, he seems sure to be gone. Mecole Hardman could step into a bigger role, but he’s got a lot to prove. Further down the depth chart is not especially exciting (Demarcus Robinson-who’s a free agent too, Byron Pringle).
In 15 games last season, Hilton had 56 catches for 762 yards and five touchdowns. All of those numbers would have been third on the Chiefs, behind Kelce and Hill. The yardage especially so, with Hardman coming in at 560 yards for the third-best total on the team. When defenses were able to take away or minimize Kelce and Hill last season, the Chiefs’ offense was rendered mortal rather quickly.
Spotrac has given Hilton a market value of $10.1 million a year. Actually getting that on the open market is another story. To say nothing of the three-year deal Spotrac also tabs for him. With a lower salary cap, and what’s still a deep class of free agent wide receivers, Hilton is the type of veteran who will get squeezed financially.
That money squeeze could lead Hilton back to the Colts, if they want him back. Or, a team like the Chiefs that’s looking for a reliable veteran receiver could enter the mix. If Hilton wants to chase a ring, Kansas City is the No. 1 spot to do it.