At 1:13 p.m. Eastern on Wednesday, T.Y. Hilton sent out a tweet with several sets of eye emojis. It was the kind of social media post that happens during free agency, often when something worth paying attention to is about to go down.
There were some scattered reports that before agreeing to a one-year deal with the Colts, the Ravens made a strong push to sign Hilton. On Thursday’s episode of The Pat McAfee Show, Hilton told his former teammate that’s exactly what those emojis meant.
“I was almost gone,” Hilton said.
But Hilton noted earlier this month that the Colts wanted a chance to match any offer he received on the open market. Apparently Hilton connected with Indianapolis to make that happen, because at 2:51 p.m. he tweeted his confirmation that he was staying with the team that drafted him.
“I’d been talking to [the Ravens] the whole time,” Hilton said. “They came in and made a great push at the end. They wanted to get it done.”
But in the end, Baltimore did not. Hilton instead will make $8 million guaranteed with a possible $2 million in incentives in 2021.
For the Ravens, improving their passing game remains a work in progress after finishing last in the league in both attempts and yards. General Manager Eric DeCosta said before free agency he wasn’t concerned about attracting receivers to the franchise.
But even though they’ve made strong pitches, the Ravens were unable to pry Hilton and JuJu Smith-Schuster away from their respective teams. Sammy Watkins has also visited with the franchise and left without a deal.