Wide receivers are starting to get paid like quarterbacks. On Wednesday, Michael Thomas and the New Orleans Saints came to terms on a five-year, $100 million contract with $61 million guaranteed. This is the biggest contract in NFL history for a player who was not a quarterback.
Last offseason, Odell Beckham Jr. signed a five-year deal with the giants that would pay him up to $95 million with $65 million guaranteed. This was the bar that Thomas had to reach. It is like paying quarterbacks, the next one must always get more than the previous, even if they have not done anything to earn it.
If this is the chain of events, then where does that leave Tyreek Hill and the Kansas City Chiefs?
Hill and the Chiefs were discussing a record-breaking contract extension back in March. After audio recordings were released between Hill and his fiancee, Crystal Espinal, the talks were put on hold and Hill was suspended from all team activities. with the NFL deciding not to discipline Hill, contract talks have started up once again.
Hill’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, was seen at Chiefs’ training camp on Tuesday. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Rosenhaus was there to discuss a new deal for his client. With Thomas touching pen to paper first, does this at all impact Hill’s negotiations?
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Hill and Thomas are two of the brightest young stars at receiver in the NFL. They both began their careers in 2016, and are entering their fourth season in the NFL.
Thomas has put up incredible numbers in New Orleans playing with a future Hall of Fame quarterback. He has eclipsed the 1,000 yard mark in each of his first three seasons in the league. He finished sixth in the NFL in 2018 with 1,405 yards.
Hill managed to have a better season in 2018. He finished fourth in yardage with 1,479 receiving yards and fourth in touchdowns with 12. He averaged 17 yards per reception which is no surprise given his incredible speed.
The main difference between these two receivers is size, which makes them different players. Hill has emerged as one of the fastest players in the NFL. This makes him a true deep ball threat. However, Hill has never had a 100 catch season. At 6’3, Thomas can do it all. He has had 100 or more catches in each of the last two seasons including 125 in 2018 to lead the league.
What Will Hill Get?
Quarterback is the most important position on the football field. It makes sense that these players are getting astronomical contracts. It looks like receivers are next. Beckham started the trend, and Thomas solidified it. Will Hill be the one to make it permanent?
Before Hill got into trouble off the field, the Chiefs entered the offseason with his contract as their No. 1 priority. While Hill will still get a deal done, it might not be as high as Thomas’.
Kansas City would be taking a real gamble if they signed Hill to a five-year deal given all of his drama off the field. There is a way for both sides to win here. Hill can sign a shorter contract around two or three years long. The Chiefs can still offer an extremely high annual pay, but for less years. At 25 years old, this would put Hill up for another extension while he is still in his prime.
Entering camp, the Chiefs had all the leverage. Hill has gained some after seeing what Thomas got from the Saints. Regardless, both sides want to get a deal done and most likely will before the season begins. In the end, Hill could end being paid like a top of the line receiver.
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