No one is suggesting that Hilton, the four-time Pro Bowl receiver, replace Philip Rivers behind center. However, the 31-year-old Hilton is scheduled to hit free agency in March, and he isn’t ready to hang up his cleats just yet.
As the 2020 NFL season approaches its ending, Hilton just sent a monumental message to Tua Tagovailoa and the Miami Dolphins.
T.Y. Hilton is an Indianapolis Colts legend
If T.Y. Hilton is prepared to leave the Indianapolis Colts, he’ll depart as one of the most prolific receivers in team history.
In nine seasons with the Colts, Hilton has totaled 608 catches, 9,360 yards, and 50 touchdowns. The former third-round pick made the Pro Bowl every year from 2014-17, a stretch where he turned 299 receptions into 4,883 yards and 22 touchdowns.
Across nine career playoff games, Hilton has caught 47 passes for 781 yards and three touchdowns.
The 2020 season marked Hilton’s lowest numbers as a full-time starter, as he finished the year with 56 catches, 762 yards, and five touchdowns in 15 games. Hilton had 45 catches and 501 yards across 10 games in 2019.
Hilton acknowledged his upcoming free agency on Twitter
T.Y. Hilton is starting to send the smoke signals ahead of free agency.
Hilton, who turned 31 in November, is scheduled to hit the open market this offseason. He has played his entire career with the Indianapolis Colts and hadn’t publicly hinted he wants to suit up for another team.
The keyword is “hadn’t.” A Twitter user recently asked Hilton if there was “any chance” that Hilton, who played at Florida International University, returns to the Miami area and joins the Dolphins.
Hilton replied, “I’m a free agent,” with the eyes emoji.
Tua Tagovailoa could thrive throwing to T.Y. Hilton
If the Miami Dolphins intend to keep former first-round pick Tua Tagovailoa as their starting quarterback in 2021, the team should definitely look into signing T.Y Hilton.
Tagovailoa’s rookie season proved that he needs more weapons around him. Starting receiver DeVante Parker battled injuries throughout the season, and all-purpose weapon Jakeem Grant struggled with drops.
Third-year tight end Mike Gesicki broke out for 53 catches, 703 yards, and six touchdowns in 2020.
Miami needs a proven receiver like Hilton who could either be a proper No. 1 wideout or slide into the No. 2 role behind Parker. Even if Hilton’s days of being a regular 1,000-yard receiver are over, he’d bring production and experience to whatever team signed him.
There is also the local element with Hilton, although that likely wouldn’t play a major role in Miami potentially signing him.
Bears star Allen Robinson will be a hot commodity on the receiver market. If Miami misses out on Robinson — or decides their money is better spent elsewhere — general manager Chris Grier may want to call Hilton, who fits everything the Dolphins needs.