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Could the Colts trade T.Y. Hilton?

Two of the most disappointing teams in the AFC square off in Week 8 as the Colts travel to face the Bengals.

The Colts currently don’t have many great players. One of them is receiver T.Y. Hilton.

With the trade deadline only two days away, Hilton’s name has emerged in league circles as a guy who could be traded. So would it happen?

As one league source with knowledge of the Hilton-Colts relationship suggested, “Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.” But it’s believed that it will take plenty of fuel to make it burn.

Every player has a price in trade, and if someone wants to pry him away and puts enough on the table, G.M. Chris Ballard (who neither drafted nor extended Hilton) could be willing to accept significant draft assets in exchange for Hilton. But how much would a team offer for a guy who would be hard pressed (as most skill-position players are) to step into a completely new environment and contribute right away?

Then there’s the fact that Hilton, as one source explained it, doesn’t want to leave the Colts. While some may think that a trade could be sparked by Hilton’s recent criticism of the team’s offensive line, think of the message that would send to the locker room: If you complain publicly, you’ll get a one-way ticket to a new team.

Also, even though it’s seeming less and less likely that quarterback Andrew Luck will play at all in 2017, he surely will be playing in 2018. If he is, he’ll want and need to have Hilton around.

Hilton is signed through 2020, and he has a base salary of $8 million this year, $11 million next year, and $13 million in 2019. As one source explained it, Hilton wouldn’t be inclined to adjust his contract in order to facilitate a trade.

Ultimately, these are the Colts, which makes it hard to predict what they’ll do. Even though many believe Ballard will become exactly what the franchise needs from a personnel evaluation and management standpoint, it’s always possible that owner Jim Irsay will opt to meddle a little. Or a lot.