peaking at the annual NFL owners meeting in Palm Beach, Florida, Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid spoke for the first time since releasing a statement about the defending AFC West champions trading away wide receiver Tyreek Hill to the Miami Dolphins in exchange for five draft picks.
“I love Tyreek Hill,” Reid said, via ESPN’s Adam Teicher. “There’s no rift between Tyreek Hill and myself. I thought he deserved an opportunity if that’s where he wanted to go. He’s a family man that has a few kids and he’s got to be able to support them now and down the road, and this gives him an opportunity to do that. At the same time, it gives us great compensation.
“We came in aggressive [with a contract offer], and after we got to a point, we just said, ‘Listen, in this day and age you have issues you have to deal with with the cap.’ So we felt like it was better to allow him to go ahead and be traded. … You can go different routes with a player. You can play hardball or you can go about it the way I did, or we did.”
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Reid on Hill Trade: You Have to Replenish
Trading away one of the most explosive players the NFL has ever seen left a good portion of Chiefs Kingdom shell shocked when it initially happened. But Reid’s additional remarks about the blockbuster trade display a mindset that should be welcomed among Chiefs fans.
“You’ve got to be able to manage that the right way,” Reid explained. “If you’re paying all of your money to a quarterback and you can’t surround him with players, that can be a problem. So you have to find a way with a Tyreek Hill maybe that you have to get rid of so you can replenish. That’s offense and defense. I’m not just talking about the offensive side.”
When all was said and done, trading away Hill gave Kansas City a 2022 first-round pick, second-round pick, and fourth-round pick, as well as a 2023 fourth-round pick and sixth-round pick. Those picks tacked on to the ones they already have, give the Chiefs 12 total draft picks in 2022 and 10 in 2023. On top of that, Kansas City saves at least $70 million in cap space due to not having to extend Hill, who got a three-year, $75 million extension from Miami.
With that extra cap space, the Chiefs have already tried to fill the void left by Hill by signing former Green Bay Packers wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling to a three-year, $30 million deal that’s worth up to $36 million, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. And if Kansas City decides it wants to add more playmakers to its receiver room it can do so with one of the Chiefs’ many 2022 draft picks.
KC’s Receiver Room Taking Shape
The wide receivers that are locked up for the 2022 season in Kansas City along with MVS are JuJu Smith-Schuster, Corey Coleman, Mecole Hardman, Josh Gordon, Daurice Fountain, Gehrig Dieter, Cornell Powell, Justin Watson, Chris Finke, Gary Jennings, Matthew Sexton, and Omar Bayless.
Hardman, Gordon, and Fountain are the only players that were active for a Chiefs game last season.
The top of the wide receiver depth chart looks very different in Kansas City compared to last season. However, the team got younger and bigger at the position, which leaves some around the NFL believing a philosophical shift is taking place for the Chiefs.
“The more people I talk to around the league, the more you get the sense of a philosophical shift for the #Chiefs,” NFL Media’s Mike Giardi wrote in wake of the MVS signing. “They got bigger at WR with JuJu and MVS. ‘They can morph into something different’ said one AFC exec I spoke to. ‘Mahomes can make it work. That’s why he’s THE GUY.'”
Time will tell if this shift was a conscious decision by the Chiefs, or if they were scrambling to add more playmakers once things turned south in the negotiations with Hill.