As they survey a fast-thinning landscape of free agent wide receivers, should the Detroit Lions be interested in T.Y. Hilton?
The first day of 2022 NFL free agency, in practical if not official terms, brought the typical volume of news about agreements on deals. At the wide receiver position, deals big and small have thinned the list of available options for the Detroit Lions.
During an appearance on NFL Network Monday afternoon, free agent wide receiver T.Y. Hilton had this to say, with quotes courtesy of the Indianapolis Star’s Nate Atkins.
“Would I love to finish my career there? Absolutely,” Hilton said, “I’m a free agent. If you want me, come get me.”
The “there” Hilton is of course referring to is the Indianapolis Colts, where he has spent his entire 10-season career to this point. As a point of reference to his longevity, he was drafted by Indianapolis the same year as Andrew Luck.
NFL Free Agency: Should the Detroit Lions have any interest in T.Y. Hilton?
Hilton is 32 years old, and he’s far from his peak years. In 10 games last season he had 23 catches for 331 yards and three touchdowns, all career-lows to go with a career-low snap rate of 53 percent. However, he did top 14 yards a catch (14.4) for the first time since 2018.
After completing a five-year, $65 million deal, Hilton went back to the Colts on a one-year deal last offseason. That signing, according to Spotrac, didn’t happen until Mar. 24, 2021, so it was a little bit into the new league year. So he could still go back to the Colts once the initial wave of deals subsides, but he seems open to landing elsewhere if he’s not wanted back.
Hilton would not be expensive to sign, and it definitely wouldn’t be more than a one-year deal. Even if he’s not the 1,000-yard receiver he was early in his career, he can still be productive in a small role and intangibly valuable as a veteran presence. The Lions could kick the tires on him, and maybe already have, but a signing is at best 50-50 as they aim a bit higher for a veteran wide receiver addition.