Veteran wide receiver T.Y. Hilton is returning to the Colts on a one-year deal for the 2021 NFL season, reportedly taking less money to stay where he's built his entire career.
It's a loyalty move, but it's also a marked choice: Hilton reportedly was offered more money by the Ravens, who have Lamar Jackson at QB, but Hilton chose to take the smaller pay day and play with former Eagles QB Carson Wentz.
That's sort of a good sign for Indy, in terms of what the league thinks of their new franchise quarterback... except Hilton might have a skewed view of Wentz's skills.
Here's what Hilton said on Thursday when asked what he thinks of Wentz's game:
"He has some Andrew Luck traits, man. He can get out of the pocket, make incredible throws. He's a special talent, man, especially when he's standing up in the pocket and delivering throws, his ability to avoid guys and make plays with his legs or his arm. He's a special talent."
Andrew Luck? Hmm.
I understand the mobility comparison, but Wentz's play style as a quarterback when he was successful - don't turn the ball over, check down, avoid mistakes - is very different from Luck's gunslinging mentality. When Wentz tried to turn on his inner gunslinger this past season, he turned the ball over more than he ever has while taking an inordinate number of sacks and generally playing the worst football of his career.
They're really just two different players. Luck averaged about five more touchdowns, 3.5 more interceptions, 5.5 fewer fumbles, and 10 fewer sacks per 16-game season compared to Wentz.
Their respective career arcs, too, were pretty different. Wentz played his best football in his second season in the league, while Luck's best stretch came starting in Year 3. Luck's completion percentage was at its highest mark (67.3%) in his last season with the Colts, while Wentz's completion percentage last year was a career-worst 57.4%. And Luck averaged at least 7.2 yards per attempt in each of his last three full seasons while Wentz averaged 6.7 and 6.0 yards per attempt in his last two seasons with the Eagles.
In short... Hilton might be in for a bit of a shock if he thinks the Colts just added Andrew Luck 2 The Sequel.
Luck was the third-best QB in Colts franchise history despite playing just 86 games in the NFL, 120 fewer than Johnny Unitas and 122 fewer than Peyton Manning.
Among Colts QBs with at least 500 attempts, Luck ranks:
- 1st in yards per game
- 3rd in yards
- 3rd in completion %
- 3rd in touchdowns
- 5th in yards per attempt
Now, after the main four QBs in Colts history - Luck, Manning, Unitas, and Bert Jones - the franchise doesn't have much competition. With a couple of solid seasons, Wentz could find himself in the Colts Top 5 almost by default.
But comparing the 2021 version of Wentz to Luck, who at his peak was one of the most electric QBs in the league? Not sure if Hilton needs to watch more tape, but he's going to be a little surprised when the 2017 version of Wentz doesn't walk through that door in Week 1.
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