Colts WR T.Y. Hilton offered a tweet yesterday following the news that Dez Bryant and Demaryius Thomas signed similar five-year, $70 million contract extension wondering if the bar has been set for the receiver market.
All this BREAKING NEWS. Does this mean the bar is set?? #THEGHOST
— TY Hilton (@TYHilton13) July 15, 2015
Hilton, 25, has one year remaining on his four-year, $2.642 million rookie contract, which includes a base salary of $665,000 for the 2015 season.
Stephen Holder of the Indianapolis Star writes that while Hilton is unlikely to come close to Bryant’s and Thomas’ new extensions, their deals will impact future negotiations for receivers.
According to Holder, there is at least a chance that Hilton could depart in free agency next year, especially now that his price tag is likely to increase.
In fact, Holder considers it to be “very likely” that Hilton will test the open market in March of next year unless the Colts “knock his socks off” with a huge offer.
Beyond that, Holder doesn’t see Hilton taking a hometown discount to be back with the Colts next year.
Colts owner Jim Irsay told reporters close to a month ago that he expects to have a long-term extension in place for Hilton “eventually,” per Mike Chappell.
However, the team invested a first-round pick in WR Phillip Dorsett and have other young talent at receiver such as Donte Moncrief and Duron Carter.
The Colts will also need to lock up QB Andrew Luck to a record-setting contract and sign LT Anthony Castonzo, TE Dwayne Allen and TE Coby Fleener to extensions, so money could be tight for them to retain Hilton on a market-value contract.
Last year, Hilton caught 82 passes for a career high 1,345 yards receiving and seven touchdowns. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the N0. 10 receiver out of 110 qualifying players.