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Colts' Jim Irsay: T.Y. Hilton extension is a priority

When the Indianapolis Colts drafted Phillip Dorsett in the first round last month, many viewed the receiver as potential insurance in case T.Y. Hilton left via free agency next offseason.

The Colts have a lot of mouths to feed, with Andrew Luck's mammoth, likely record-setting contract being the biggest on the to-do list.

Indy has insisted Dorsett's arrival isn't insurance in case a long-term solution with Hilton can't be found and owner Jim Irsay said Wednesday that he'd like to lock down the wideout before he hits the open market.

"Again, we'd like to make some progress, possibly get something done sooner rather than later," he said, via the team's official website. "It obviously takes both sides to come to a sort of comprised agreement so to speak. I think we're optimistic. Obviously, my belief is and our team's belief, Ryan (Grigson) and Chuck (Pagano) as well, is draft great players, keep great players. We've kept great players into their second contract obviously Reggie (Wayne), Robert Mathis, (Dwight) Freeney, the list is long. We want to be able to do that. I think the most critical thing is to draft great players and to keep them in their second contract. We're coming to that crossroads on some key guys like T.Y., so I do expect something to get done there eventually for sure."

One big question is whether the team would be willing to slap the franchise tag -- which could rise north of $13 million next year -- on Hilton if the sides can't agree.

Hilton's camp might want to see how the contracts of other big-name wideouts like Dez Bryant, Julio Jones and Demaryius Thomas shake out before inking anything.

With Luck not even in his prime yet, the Colts want to ensure they keep him stocked with weapons. Locking down Hilton for the long term will ensure the quarterback has one of the best deep threats in the NFL for years to come.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast discusses the best available free agents and the guys play another edition of What's More Likely. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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