"Wow, dude. That's awesome!"
That was former Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck's reaction when T.Y. Hilton told him how much money he turned down from the Baltimore Ravens in order to return to the Colts in free agency.
Hilton appeared on "The Pat McAfee Show" on Thursday (catch the whole show here) and talked about the process of free agency, how close he was to leaving the Colts, and the discussions he had along the way with people who are important to him.
Hilton's deal with the Colts is reportedly for one year and $10 million total, including $8 guaranteed. So, how far was Baltimore willing to go?
Luckily for the Colts, they had some big cards to play.
Ultimately, God, former teammate Reggie Wayne, Colts general manager Chris Ballard, and owner Jim Irsay helped steer "The Ghost" back to Indianapolis.
"I'd been talking to them the whole time," Hilton said of his discussions with the Ravens during free agency. "They came in and made a great push at the end, and they wanted to get it done."
Despite Baltimore's offer, Hilton described the last-minute scenario that put him back in the blue and white.
"True story, no bull," Hilton said. "I prayed about it about 12 o'clock (Wednesday afternoon). I'd been texting Chris Ballard the whole. By 2:30, I'm like, 'Man, by 3 o'clock I'm signing somewhere. Wherever it's at, I'm signing.' (At) 2:55 I got off the phone with Chris and I'm like, 'Are we gonna get this done? How can we get this done?' He came up with a number and I'm like, 'Alright, it's alright. I guess it's meant for me to go to this next team.'
"As soon as I close his (Ballard) message, Irsay texted me," Hilton continued. "I said, 'There goes my sign right there.' When he texted me, that's when we got it done. When he texted me, we got it done... It was awesome. He just told me that it was a great deal and hopefully, we could get it done. I told him the number that I wanted, and they got to it, right then and there, and the deal got done."
Hilton's mentor, Wayne, was a big help to Hilton throughout his entire free-agent process, also having dealt with negotiating a deal to return to the Colts in the latter days of his career.
"The one person that I've gotta give a lot of credit to is Reggie Wayne. I call him '87,'" Hilton said. "He helped me out a lot. He answered the phone when I needed him. He was a big help all the way through this whole thing. I'd give anything for him. He's a big brother to me. I love him to death. For him to be there every step of the way with me, all the way until I signed, it was incredible."
At the end of it all, Irsay and Ballard sealed the deal between Hilton and the Colts.
"Him (Irsay) and Chris (Ballard) did it," Hilton said. "I'm very appreciative of them."