Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes has been radio silent since his teammate, wide receiver Tyreek Hill, was traded to the Miami Dolphins in a blockbuster deal that sent five draft picks Kansas City’s way. But that silence by Mahomes has now ended.
Mahomes reacted to Hill’s being traded away after spending five seasons with him as members of the Chiefs.
“It more surprised me whenever it got to the point where we were really considering trading [Tyreek Hill],” Mahomes told the MMQB’s Albert Breer on March 30. “[The Chiefs] kept me updated the entire time; I knew the extension talks were going on. And then I knew when he got the permission to seek to get traded. But I mean, still, I played my entire career with Tyreek, so definitely, there was a little bit of shock when he got traded.”
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Despite losing one of the most explosive wide receivers in NFL history, Mahomes said he is happy for Hill and said Kansas City did what it could to keep him around.
“At the same time, they kept me involved the entire process, and I know that we made a tremendous effort to try to keep him in Kansas City,” Mahomes said. “Tyreek, he’s such a tremendous player, he got what he deserved. I’m happy for him. And he’s at a place where he has a home and he’s closer to family and stuff. So I’m very happy for him. We had to move forward.”
Brett Veach, Andy Reid Explain Hill Trade
Chiefs general manager Brett Veach released a statement on March 23 about trading away Hill, a six-time Pro Bowler and three-time All-Pro.
“It’s hard to put into words what Tyreek has meant to Chiefs Kingdom over the last six years. He’s a special player, one of the best in franchise history,” Veach wrote. “He’s been a large part of our success, including our Super Bowl championship run. This decision was incredibly difficult, but we felt it was a necessary move in the best interest of the team, and also for Tyreek. We wish him the best as he continues his career.”
Head coach Andy Reid also released a statement alongside Veach but gave much more detail about the Hill trade while at the NFL owners meetings in Palm Beach, Florida.
“I love Tyreek Hill,” Reid said, via ESPN’s Adam Teicher on March 28. “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.”
Chiefs Making ‘Philosophical Shift’ on Offense?
The Kansas City wide receivers who are locked up for 2022 are Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Mecole Hardman, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Corey Coleman, Josh Gordon, Daurice Fountain, Gehrig Dieter, Cornell Powell, Justin Watson, Chris Finke, Gary Jennings, Matthew Sexton and Omar Bayless.
Among those players, Hardman, Gordon and Fountain are the only ones who were active for a Chiefs game last season.
The top of the wide receiver depth chart looks very different compared with last season. The receiving unit has gotten younger and bigger, leading some around the NFL to believe that a philosophical shift is taking place on the Chiefs’ offense.
“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 tweeted March 26 in wake of the Valdes-Scantling 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.’”