NFL AM: Colts Reward TY Hilton With New Contract, Luck Next?


Hilton Gets Paid Big Money

When the Indianapolis Colts selected wide receiver T.Y. Hilton in the third round of the 2012 NFL Draft, the expectation was that he would add a dimension on offense and special teams and eventually develop into a solid slot or complementary receiver.

Hilton has outperformed his draft status and thus his contract, and the Colts rewarded him handsomely with a five-year, $65 million deal with upwards of $39 million in guaranteed money, according to an ESPN report. 

“[The Colts] showed interest that they wanted me and I also wanted to be here,” Hilton said Thursday. “There’s no place I rather be than here. This organization is great. I love being here.

“I didn’t want to go into the season with it on my mind. I’m ready to play. [Go] to practice and give it my all.”

Aside from no-brainer selection Andrew Luck, Hilton is probably general manager Ryan Grigson’s best selection since he took over his post from Hall of Famer Bill Polian.

“It’s a great day for the Indianapolis Colts, T.Y. Hilton and his family,” Grigson said in a statement. “We’re extremely happy as an organization to ensure that T.Y. will continue to be a part of our journey for many years to come. His daily excellence on and off the field is a shining example of an individual striving for greatness and what it truly means to be a Colt.”

Hilton has been one of the NFL’s best deep threats since he’s come into the league as he has 17 receptions of 40 or more yards, ranking him third behind DeSean Jackson and A.J. Green.  Hilton has caught 82 passes in each of the last two seasons for more than 2,400 yards with 12 touchdowns.

With veteran Reggie Wayne off the roster and perennial Pro Bowler Andre Johnson in the twilight of his career, Hilton enters 2015 as the No. 1 wide receiver of the Colts for the first time.

It was somewhat of a surprise that Hilton struck his deal before quarterback Andrew Luck, who now has a comparable contract to go to the negotiating table with as Russell Wilson inked a four-year, $87.6 million deal.  Luck’s deal will obviously be for more money and is likely to be more complicated than Hilton’s.

Redskins Lose TE Paul For The Season

It didn’t take long for the first major injury of the preseason as Washington Redskins starting tight end Niles Paul was carted off the field early in the team’s 20-17 victory over the Cleveland Browns.

It is believed that Paul dislocated his ankle and will miss the entire 2015 season.

“A huge loss for us,” Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said. “He’s a great player and a great leader.”

The former Nebraska wide receiver turned tight end had the best season of his career in 2014 as he caught 39 passes for 507 yards and a touchdown, while only starting seven games.  In his three previous seasons combined, Paul caught 14 passes for 228 yards with a touchdown.

Washington will likely turn to former Florida Gator tight end Jordan Reed to pick up some of the slack.  The third-year pro caught 50 passes for 465 yards in 11 games last season.

Another option for the Redskins would be the retired former Pro Bowler Chris Cooley, who expressed an interest in returning to the NFL.

“Of course I’d wanna play for the Redskins,” Cooley said on ESPN 980 in Washington. “That’d literally be the greatest thing in the world.”

Although it would be the greatest thing in the world for Cooley, it probably wouldn’t be for Washington.  The two-time Pro Bowler hasn’t played since 2012 and in that season he caught all of one pass for eight yards.

Around The NFL

As we know, final scores in preseason games are not particularly important.  With that said, here is a brief recap of Thursday night’s action.

Lions 23, Jets 3

Rookie Ameer Abdullah was the star of the game for the Detroit Lions as he broke a 45-yard run and finished with seven carries for 67 yards.  Fellow rookie Zach Zenner added 55 yards on 13 carries.  Detroit pounded out 193 rushing yards on 40 attempts which helped them control the time of possession, 36:43- 23:17.

Redskins 20, Browns 17 

The big news from this game was obviously the Niles Paul injury, but aside from that the Cleveland Browns quarterback position looked competent and effective.  Starter Josh McCown completed all five of his throws as he led the first-team offense to a touchdown drive.  Backup Johnny Manziel completed seven of his 11 attempts for 42 yards and added a 12-yard touchdown run.

Ravens 30, Saints 27

The Baltimore Ravens starting offense looked sharp as they were on the field for one drive and went 80 yards for a touchdown….New Orleans Saints rookie quarterback Garrett Grayson was efficient in his first game action, as he completed eight of 12 throws for 87 yards.

Packers 22, Patriots 11

Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy left starting quarterback Aaron Rodgers in for the entire first quarter and the reigning league MVP completed 11 of 19 passes for 117 yards….Tom Brady started for the Patriots and completed one of his four pass attempts.  Brady’s backup, Jimmy Garoppolo got plenty of work as he completed 20 of his 30 attempts, for 159 yards with an interception and he took seven sacks.  New England better hope that Tom Brady’s suspension is erased by the courts.

Bears 27, Dolphins 10

The Chicago Bears exacted some revenge from their spoiled perfect season of 1985 as they took down the Miami Dolphins in a completely meaningless preseason game.

The Dolphins first-team offense played well and left with the lead as Ryan Tannehill, in his first game after his contract extension, completed six of his seven throws, for 56 yards with a touchdown to Jarvis Landry.  Former first-round pick (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) Josh Freeman continued in the latest of his career descent as he completed just five of his 16 throws, for 76 yards with an interception.

Chargers 17, Cowboys 7

San Diego Chargers rookie running back Melvin Gordon made his professional debut and there will likely be better days ahead, as the former Wisconsin Badger gained just 11 yards on six carries….Dallas Cowboys second-round draft pick Randy Gregory registered a sack in his first professional game and Tony Romo, Dez Bryant and Joseph Randle all sat out.



About Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein is the managing football editor for Football Insiders and has covered the NFL for over a decade.  Charlie has hosted drive time radio for NBC and ESPN affiliates in different markets around the country, along with being an NFL correspondent for ESPN Radio and WFAN.  He has been featured on the NFL Network as well as Sirius/XM NFL Radio and has been published on Fox Sports, Sports Illustrated, ESPN as well as numerous other publications.