Another day, another big name on the move in the NFL. After failed efforts to strike a new contract with Tyreek Hill, the Chiefs have traded the All-Pro wide receiver to the Dolphins, as ESPN and NFL Media reported and CBS Sports NFL insider Jason La Canfora confirmed Wednesday. Earlier in the day, Kansas City granted the six-time Pro Bowler permission to seek a trade and began exploring potential replacements at his position. The Jets were reportedly also front-runners to land Hill, but instead, the speedster will go to Miami in exchange for five different draft picks, including a 2022 first-rounder.
Hill, 28, was set to enter a contract year with the Chiefs, the final year of a three-year, $54 million extension he signed in 2019. He was seeking a substantial raise in the wake of 2022 free agency, which reset the receiver market thanks to a number of new deals around the NFL. Kansas City offered the former Super Bowl champion an extension that would’ve made him one of the game’s highest-paid at his position, per NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport, but negotiations stalled to the point Hill sought a new deal elsewhere.
The Dolphins, in addition to giving Hill a four-year, $120 million extension that averages $30 million per year, with $72.2M guaranteed — a new record for wide receivers, have dealt a 2022 first-round pick, 2022 second-rounder, 2022 fourth-rounder, 2023 fourth-rounder and 2023 sixth-rounder to Kansas City in exchange for the wideout.
The Chiefs had been preparing for his exit, recently signing former Steelers starter JuJu Smith-Schuster, continually scouting free-agent and draft options, and on Wednesday hosting former Packers speedster Marquez Valdes-Scantling for a free-agent visit, per NFL Media. Losing Hill, however, removes one of the NFL’s most explosive pass catchers from a lineup once heralded as the most dangerous in the league, sapping star quarterback Patrick Mahomes of one of his top targets.
Hill has faced several off-field issues during his career, including a domestic assault charge that predated his NFL entry as a 2016 fifth-round pick. On the field, he’s been one of the most productive players at his position, eclipsing 1,000 receiving yards in four of his six seasons, including a career-high 1,479 yards in 2018, when Mahomes won NFL MVP. He logged a personal-best 111 catches in 2021, a year after scoring a career-high 15 touchdowns.
In Miami, he’ll slot in as a new No. 1 receiver for QB Tua Tagovailoa, opposite second-year man Jaylen Waddle.
(From CBS Sports NFL fantasy writer Dan Schneier)
How much of a negative impact will the trade have on Hill after he moves away from Patrick Mahomes and inherits Tua Tagovailoa as his new starting quarterback. The area where this is most concerning is in the deep passing game. Mahomes has a clear-cut edge as a deep passer over Tagovailoa, but ultimately I don’t think the Travis Kelce factor should be discounted entirely either. With Kelce on the field, defenses were forced to account for the middle of the field with their safeties — often opening up deep passing zones for Mahomes to find Hill. Mike Gesicki does not garner that kind of attention from defenses and more eyes will be on Hill now despite having Waddle alongside him.
As for Tagovailoa, the Hill addition is obviously a great one for his Fantasy outlook. The Dolphins have done a lot to provide him with every opportunity to succeed this offseason including two key offensive line signings — Terron Armstead and Connor Williams. Given the lack of rushing upside Tagovailoa has displayed at the NFL level, I’m skeptical of upgrading him to a borderline QB1 — something you might start to see pick up steam as the offseason rolls on — but he’s a fine wager as a breakout QB in 2022 given the additions of Hill, McDaniel, Waddle’s progression and the offensive line upgrade.
In addition to that, the Chiefs utilize a vertically-oriented offense under head coach Andy Reid and Hill will now be moving to a more run-focused, horizontal attack. He has the skill set to thrive in this area, but it won’t exactly help him in the deep passing game.