Each day of this offseason, it seems that another jaw-dropping move has occurred, as star players continue to get traded one after the other. Between Davante Adams, Deshaun Watson, Matt Ryan, and most recently Tyreek Hill, this past week has been a whirlwind on the transaction wire.
Early on Wednesday afternoon, reports surfaced that Hill’s extension talks with Kansas City had stalled and permission was granted for Hill and his agent to seek a trade. As a hot commodity and game-changer, Hill drew much interest. In little time, two AFC East teams — the Jets and Dolphins — emerged as top candidates. Both teams had young QBs desperate for more weapons, have the cap space to take on an expensive player like Hill, and have the picks to get a trade of such magnitude done. The deal then came down to which state Hill preferred to play and live in, New Jersey or Florida.
Of course, whichever team acquired him also had to factor in the incoming contract extension that Hill warranted into the trade details.
Comparing the Trade Packages:
The Jets offered the Chiefs pick 35, pick 38, and pick 69, in exchange for the superstar WR and pick 103. This was good for 1130 points on the Jimmy Johnson draft chart.
The Dolphins offered pick 29, pick 50, pick 121, and fourth and sixth round pick in 2023 in exchange for Hill. This trade was worth 1127 points on the Jimmy Johnson draft chart.
Both offers were nearly equal if Kansas City was using the Jimmy Johnson trade value chart.
Assessing the Contract Extension:
After the trade was announced, the next part of the deal that had to be done would be Hill’s new contract. Hill wanted a higher salary for his play and had an expiring contract after this season. He had also just watched another top receiver in Davante Adams get traded to a location he was happy with and get paid, so the same strategy was used by Hill.
Miami and Hill agreed to a four-year, $120 million extension, including $72.2 million guaranteed, and $52.535 million guaranteed at signing. This makes Hill the new highest-paid wideout in NFL history, beating out Adams, who held that title for all of five days. Because the new league year is already underway, the $72.2 million will become guaranteed for 2023.
Former Philadelphia Eagles President Joe Banner thinks that a contract of this stature for the 28 year old Hill is, “a very high-risk contract for a player with a history of significant off-field problems.”
Hill’s Potential Impact In Miami:
Despite all of the controversy that surrounded the Dolphins and Tua Tagovailoa to start this offseason, since hiring Mike McDaniel they have done nothing but put important pieces around the young QB. It has clearly been their priority as they plan to contend in the highly competitive AFC.
This offseason, the Dolphins franchise tagged TE Mike Gesicki and added RBs Chase Edmonds and Raheem Mostert, FBs Alec Ingold and John Lovett, WRs Cedrick Wilson, and now Tyreek Hill. Miami has also built up their offensive line, signing LG Connor Williams and LT Terron Armstead.
Former NFL General Manager and Miami Dolphins EVP Mike Tannenbaum added that, “Miami will now have the fastest and most explosive tandem in the entire NFL with Hill and Waddle, which will truly put pressure on Tua to be a great QB.”
While there is no doubt that this trade will make the Dolphins’ offense better and much more explosive, Banner believes that this move was done while only thinking in the short term. “It is a ton to give up and then to make him a top three WR when it comes to pay,” he said.
The Cowboys made a similar move in giving up a first round pick for Amari Cooper before giving him a large extension a few years back. He was productive in Dallas, but they ultimately started off this offseason by trading Cooper for a minimal package to get his contract off the books.
Banner also has other doubts against the move, stating that, “The history mostly says that quality players Andy Reid moves on from don’t go on to thrive.”
How The Trade Affects Kansas City:
For Kansas City, losing a player of Hill’s caliber is heartbreaking for fans and irreplaceable for the offense. One would imagine that this trade will not make franchise QB Patrick Mahomes particularly happy, but this should not have come as too much of a surprise as there are consequences and cap casualties when agreeing to sign such a large contract as Mahomes did.
It is nearly impossible to hold together a nucleus of such talented players who all desire to be paid at the top of their position markets. At some point, a sacrifice had to be made. Unfortunately for Mahomes, it was Hill who wanted to be paid.
However, all is not lost for the Chiefs, as they still have Patrick Mahomes as their signal caller, RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire, TE Travis Kelce, and newly signed WR Juju Smith-Schuster.
Tannenbaum also does not believe Kansas City needs to worry as long as they can hit on some of their newly acquired draft picks, stating that “they could still find explosive players with the three picks they have in the top 50.”
As the Chiefs look to get younger and cheaper while trying to hold together as many expensive veterans as they can, they’re in luck that the 2022 Draft class is filled with talented wide receivers.