When the word "bust" is thrown around in professional sports, it often carries heavy weight for a player, meaning he's been a colossal failure as a draft pick or a signing in free agency.
For Bleacher Report's Brent Sobelski, he's changing the meaning slightly ahead of the 2021 season, labeling veteran wide receiver T.Y. Hilton as the Indianapolis Colts' biggest bust, stating that the "potential busts will be identified based on the possibility of them hindering their respective teams this fall instead of looking at them as long-term failures, as is the traditional designation."
Somehow, that made Hilton the Colts' choice for Sobelski despite the Colts adding young quarterback Carson Wentz into the fold, which should open things up in the passing game for Hilton one year after catching passes from Philip Rivers, who's arm was relatively shot 20+ yards down the field.
T.Y. Hilton will eventually retire as an all-time great for the Indianapolis Colts. Only Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne surpass the 31-year-old among the franchise's most prolific pass-catchers. However, Hilton's role will continue to diminish. Michael Pittman Jr. should build upon last year's second-half success, and besides, new quarterback Carson Wentz loves bigger targets.
Speaking of Wentz, Zach Ertz's involvement in the Philadelphia Eagles helped tremendously in the quarterback's development. Ertz caught 356 passes for 3,719 yards and 26 touchdowns during Wentz's first four seasons. Colts tight ends Jack Doyle and Mo Alie-Cox should be a big part of the passing attack, which takes away opportunities for wide receivers.
Throw the progression of Zach Pascal and Parris Campbell into the mix as further obstacles. Hilton is a consummate professional. But the days of 1,000-yard campaigns are long gone.
In a run-first offense like the Colts, it's reasonable to expect numbers to decline slightly for a veteran receiver, but stating that Hilton's days of 1,0000-yard campaigns being long gone is a real stretch, considering he posted nearly 800 receiving yards on 56 catches with Rivers last season.
Hilton has raved about Wentz's arm this offseason following workouts with the new quarterback. Wentz's arm should allow the Colts to push the ball further down the field, which should open up plenty for Hilton, who still remains a great route runner overall and creates separation with ease at this point in his career.
Michael Pittman Jr., Zach Pascal and Parris Campbell will certainly eat into production, but Sobelski makes it sound like Hilton is completely cooked at this point in his career and is more of a decoy than a No. 1. That couldn't be further from the truth.
Hilton won't be a bust, but he won't be a standout anymore. I project around 900 receiving yards and between 6-8 touchdowns, which is nowhere in the same stratosphere as a bust of Sobelski's description.
Have thoughts on T.Y. Hilton being labeled the Colts' biggest bust ahead of the 2021 season? Drop a line in the comments section below letting us know how you feel!