Indianapolis Colts have their eyes fully set on winning the Super Bowl during the upcoming season, but the franchise has plenty of problems to solve before they can mount a serious challenge for the Lombardi Trophy.
The Colts were humbled in the AFC Championship Game in January when the New England Patriots dominated them in the running game, with the Pats producing 177 rushing yards in a brutal 45-7 win.
There is no doubt that the Colts have to seriously improve their defense against the run, but there is another big issue on the agenda at the moment in Indianapolis, and that's the contract situation of star receiver T.Y. Hilton.
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Hilton is headed into the final year of his rookie contract, with the wideout hoping for a new deal after what was an impressive campaign for Hilton in 2014.
The diminutive receiver will earn a base salary of $1,542,000 during 2015, while he will also acquire $131,850 via a signing bonus.
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But naturally he wants more money, and the latest reports suggest that the Colts are willing to offer Hilton a new contract sooner rather than later, with owner Jim Irsay stating that general manager Ryan Grigson is ready to cut a deal.
“We’d like to make some progress, possibly get something done sooner than later,” Irsay told the Indianapolis Star.
“It obviously takes both sides to come to a compromised agreement, so to speak. I think we’re optimistic, obviously. My belief, and our team’s belief, [General Manager] Ryan [Grigson] and Chuck as well, is draft great players and keep great players."
Second contract likely?
Irsay says that the Colts' history of handing second contracts to players over the years bodes well for Hilton in his pursuit of another deal.
"We’ve kept great players into their second contract. Obviously, Reggie [Wayne], Robert [Mathis], [Dwight] Freeney, the list is long. We want to be able to do that," added Irsay.
"The most critical thing is keep them in their second contract. We’re coming to that crossroads on some key guys, like T.Y. So I do expect something to get done there eventually for sure.”
Will Hilton stay?
It remains to be seen whether or not Hilton stays with the Colts, and the latest events might actually point to the fact that Indianapolis are thinking about waiting until the end of the season to give him a new deal.
The Colts would love to offer Hilton a new deal, but there's no doubt it will be only on the team's terms.
If Hilton wants more, then the Colts might just try and mould rookie receiver Phillip Dorsett into the new Hilton, and should he impress, let Hilton hit free agency in 2016.