After failing to reach an agreement on a contract extension, the Kansas City Chiefs granted wide receiver Tyreek Hill permission to seek a trade, and the ever-dangerous playmaker was promptly dealt to the Miami Dolphins. He quickly was signed to a four-year, $120 million extension, per NFL Network.
In return, Ian Rapoport says the Chiefs received the following:
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 23, 2022
That’s considerable compensation for arguably the most explosive player in the entire league, and the Chiefs have loaded up on draft picks in one of the deeper receiver classes in recent memory. We’ll address their side of this trade in a future article after more is know about how the team intends to replace Hill.
From Miami’s perspective, the new coaching staff has been gifted several game-changing upgrades in its first offseason. Left tackle Terron Armstead and guard Connor Williams were added to secure the offensive line, running backs Chase Edmonds and Raheem Mostert, and wideout Cedrick Wilson Jr. were acquired to put more pieces around quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. Tight end Mike Gesicki was franchise tagged, too. But none of those pieces are even in the same universe as Hill, and the “Cheetah” immediately upgrades this already-promising offense.
The additions of those pieces will be integrated with 2021 rookie breakout receiver Jaylen Waddle and veteran DeVante Parker to form one of the most dangerous offenses on paper — the operative phrasing. It still has to all come together, and don’t be surprised if Parker winds up being traded now.
In 2022, it’s do or die for Tagovailoa. He enters Year 3 with yet another offensive system, and the former Alabama QB has shown only marginal promise to date. In his defense, the offensive weaponry was pedestrian, continuity has been an issue, and the learning curve for a young quarterback is steep.
The hiring of Mike McDaniel brings an offensive-minded head coach into the’ equation and one who has experience learning from a top play-caller in Kyle Shanahan. The San Francisco 49ers’ offensive system — a modified West Coast design — follows McDaniel to South Beach, and the creativity of Shanahan-inspired wrinkles can help hide some of Tua’s deficiencies as a pure passer. Think of all of the crosses, mesh concepts, screens, jet sweeps, etc. involved in how San Francisco uses guys like Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel. The ability to manufacture yardage and force defenses to pick which dangerous receiver they must double works in Miami’s favor.
Fantasy football takeaway
The immediate fantasy football outlook for Hill takes a hit. He’s going from a generational quarterback in Patrick Mahomes to a guy who remains unproven, and Tua being a lefty passer also is a factor, believe it or not. The ball spins differently and takes some time to get used to reeling in for a wideout. It isn’t something that should linger into the regular season, though.
Tua is adept at getting rid of the ball quickly and hitting passes in the short area of the field. What will suffer the most is Hill’s vertical game due to Tagovailoa not being a great deep-ball passer.
The consistent double-teams in coverage will free up underneath routes, though, so even sending Hill down the field to clear out space will help the offense, just not his fantasy stats. His addition is an upgrade for Waddle and Gesicki in some ways. The volume probably slightly decreases, but Hill’s mere presence provides these guys so many one-on-ones that eventually they’re going to win in a big way. Waddle already has established chemistry with Tagovailoa, and while Gesicki does, too, the veteran tight end isn’t magically going to become Travis Kelce all of a sudden. Look for an increase in scoring touchdowns but likely less in the way of receptions and yardage.
Tagovailoa gets an upgrade, but he remains a suspect spot play due to his own limitations. Don’t overvalue him based on these weapons alone. He still needs to prove he can get the job done, and it’s fair to be cautiously optimistic that he can blossom into a weekly starter. The savvy approach is to prepare for limited progression and draft accordingly, however.
Hill goes from being a top-three fantasy receiver lock to a low-tier No. 1 with increased risk. His explosive nature and ability to gain yards after the catch. This offense will create situations to get him in space and let “Tyfreak” do the work.