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'Locked on Colts' looks at Hilton's return, offseason so far

Hilton should receive more deep ball opportunities compared to the last two seasons with Jacoby Brissett and Philip Rivers as QB1.
Credit: AP Photo/David J. Phillip
(AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

INDIANAPOLIS — On today's episode of Locked On Colts, host Evan Sidery is joined by Colts insider Joel A. Erickson of the Indianapolis Star. Sidery and Erickson go over T.Y. Hilton's new 1-year deal with the Colts, plus the Colts' overall offseason thus far. 

T.Y. Hilton Returns Home

After a longer negotiating period than expected between Indy and Hilton during free agency, which concluded with a 1-year, $10 million contract, how will the longtime star receiver look with Carson Wentz under center?

Erickson says Hilton should receive more deep ball opportunities compared to the last two seasons with Jacoby Brissett and Philip Rivers as QB1.

"I think you're definitely going to see more of them than we saw last year. Rivers, for all the good things that he did for the Colts, it was pretty clear his deep ball wasn't the same anymore," Erickson said.

Carson Wentz

Will the Colts offense look more like the 2018 version with Andrew Luck now with Carson Wentz as Indy's signal-caller? A more athletic and stronger arm than Rivers, the playbook for head coach Frank Reich should be expanded upon heading into 2021 with Wentz.

We've also seen the potential from Wentz within Reich's offense. Before a season-ending injury in 2017, Wentz was on his way to an MVP season. Could Reich rejuvinate that version of Wentz? With Reich's history of bringing out the best in quarterbacks, there's a real chance.

"He's got all the skills. It's all there. The escapability. The arm strength," Erickson said.

Quiet Free Agency

Why have the Colts not been more aggressive in free agency? It's a savvy tactic by general manager Chris Ballard to preserve more cap space. However, it's never been Ballard's style to be the aggressor for big money spending moves.

As Erickson outlined to Sidery, last year's trade for DeForest Buckner might prove to be the outlier for Ballard's aggression throughout his tenure as Indy's GM:

"I think DeForest Buckner kinda threw everybody off a little bit. Ballard traded for DeForest Buckner and gave him $21 million per year. ... Ballard has always said he doesn't want to give 'A' contracts to 'B' players. He gave an 'A' contract to an 'A' player with Buckner."

All of this, plus so much more, in a loaded podcast with insider analysis from Sidery and Erickson on the Colts' intriguing 2021 offseason.