Tyreek Hill & his two finger celebration as he flies into the end zone has become a common sight in Kansas City, Missouri. But it could be time for the two to part ways…
The Chiefs have been real busy in the last few days, wrapping up the elite talent on their roster. Patrick Mahomes signed a deal that makes my knees shake to even think about, signing with the Chiefs for a whopping 10 years in the region of $450 – $500 million dollars. Which to us normal people translates to $$$$$$$$$$$. Yesterday, another mega deal was penned when they wrapped up DT Chris Jones to a 4 year $80 million dollar extension.
Mahomes contract doesn’t come into play until 2021, when his cap hit jumps from $5.3 million a year, to $24 million a year. A huge jump, which make no mistake about it, will come with casualties. That’s football. Look at the Rams, look at the casualties they had to let walk this off season because of the impact of Goff & Donalds contracts. Cory Littleton walked away, Nickell Robey Coleman walked away, Todd Gurley out too. This is why you see teams load up when they think they’ve hit the jackpot on a rookie quarterback on a cheap deal, because when the time comes to pay them, you really gotta pay them. We saw this almost pay off for the Rams, falling one step short at the Super Bowl.
As is the case with any incredible team, you can’t keep the band together forever. Somebody has to take the fall for all that money being spent, and find home in another city.
Almost last year…
The rumours circled around Tyreek Hill in the 2019 off season, and the Chiefs were once again in the spotlight because one of their players had a case raised against them. Previously, the Chiefs acted and released star running back Kareem Hunt, who was literally at peak form, when a video leaked of him kicking a woman. There was clearly an altercation and the woman was being very aggressive towards Hunt, to which he retaliated. Stupidly. It cost him his job in Kansas City and eventually he landed with the Browns. Then in 2019, the story came to light that Hill was being accused of battery, when his three year old son suffered a broken arm. Some thought he too would be released, and trade rumours started to fly.
The case was still not closed when the draft came around, and it looked to many on the outside that the Chiefs were preparing for life without Hill when they drafted the incredibly speedy Mecole Hardman out of Georgia in round 2. I remember thinking ‘Oh snap, that’s Hill done’.
In July 2019, the decision was made that the Chiefs wouldn’t suspend Hill, and he was cleared to return to camp, thus ending up with Tyreek Hill and the apparent heir to his throne. In September 2019 Hill signed a 3 year extension for $54 million dollars.
This worked out quite nicely for the Chiefs as we all know, claiming the Lombardi trophy earlier this year. Mecole Hardman contributed a nice 538 yards and 6 touchdowns, which as a rookie in an offence full of talent is not bad at all. Tyreek Hill put up 860 yards and 7 touchdowns. Hardmans yards per catch were actually better, averaging 20.7 yards, to Hills 14.8.
The Chiefs offence with a talent like Mahomes is going to be explosive no matter who you have at receiver and Mecole Hardman is perfectly capable of flourishing in that system. They locked up Sammy Watkins for another year, signing him to a $9 million dollar extension through the 2020 season, after Watkins talked about potentially retiring or taking some time out. Turns out winning a Super Bowl is a decent motivator to keep playing. The Chiefs also have a solid contributor in Demarcus Robinson out of Florida (Go Gators), having his best year in 2019 with 449 yards and 4 touchdowns.
And of course, we haven’t yet highlighted the monster that is Travis Kelce, who led all of the above stacking up over 1200 yards, at tight end. Which is pretty damn good. Kelce is pretty damn good.
Life without Tyreek
What i’m getting at, is the Chiefs can actually go without Tyreek Hill, and having paid a host of stars to keep them with the team long term, there is going to have to be a sacrifice. With Mecole Hardman waiting in the wings ready to step up and improve on a great rookie season, is it time to cash in on Hill?
Hill is considered a superstar and a difference maker in the NFL, there are no two ways about that. The 26 year old has been a pro bowler in all four years of his NFL career so far, once as a special teams guy, and 3 as a receiver. Hill averages over 1000 a season, and has 36 touchdowns in his career. That’s an average contribution of 1000 yards and 9 touchdowns a season. Of course, he’s played two years with Patrick Mahomes, and the two have built the connection every head coach dreams of. How many times have we seen Hill dashing into the end zone with nobody in reaching distance, off of a beauty from Patty Mahomes, or just through purely insane speed of his own?
Hill could go anywhere in the league and change a teams offence. Teams would pay the price to have that. Hill is currently costing $17 million in cap space (8%), so the trade value might have to compensate that hit, but the Chiefs could still put the feelers out and grab themselves a very decent return. With 2 years left on his deal, i’m not sure they wait until that ticks down to 1. If Hill continues his fine form and becomes a 5 time pro bowler with one year left on his contract, the Chiefs are not going to be able to afford the money that he’s demanding. Unless they can conjure up some sort of magic to keep him there, offering more super bowls as a trade off for less money.
So where would he fit?
So this is why I think we might see the move before the 2020 season begins. There are teams in need of receivers, and desperately in need of some superstar excitement on offence. I would have said the Raiders is the perfect place, and had they drafted Jerry Jeudy or Ceedee Lamb, i’d still say they are. But the addition of Henry Ruggs cancels it out, he’s likely to be a very similar player to Tyreek Hill, and too close in style. The Raiders might also still be suffering from shell shock due to the Antonio Brown nightmare.
How about the Eagles? Desean Jackson has found plenty of success in Philly, and Eagles fans have been crying out for receivers since Nelson Agholor started dropping everything. Alshon Jeffery is getting older and can’t stay healthy, Desean Jackson the same thing, but they did draft Jalen Reagor in the first round this off season. Reagor is 5’11 with track speed, and a dynamic receiving threat. So you could argue they like the Raiders, have also added a similar threat to Hill in the draft.
You’re seeing more and more teams have success with this type of player, as the league gets faster and faster every year. We just saw the same thing with Marquise Brown and the Ravens. Imagine Tyreek Hill on that team.
My personal favourite? Green Bay. Davante Adams and Tyreek Hill would be the perfect compliment. Aaron Rodgers can throw a ball into orbit, and Hill would get there in time to catch it. Packers fans were horrifically disappointed with the Packers draft this off season, and rightly so. The Packers drafted the heir to Rodgers throne instead of drafting any talent to actually help Rodgers out, so adding Tyreek Hill and giving the Packers a chance to grab a quick Super Bowl before the Rodgers reign comes to an end makes perfect sense to me. I think there was so much talk about the lack of talent in Green Bay, and how Rodgers had no help, yet they still made the Conference Championship… with Tyreek Hill, i’d have fancied them to win it too.
So why not go grab him, give Aaron Rodgers one last dance for a season or two with Adams and Hill, and roll the dice.
Do you think he’ll stay? Would you love to see Hill traded to your team?
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