The Kansas City Chiefs made one of the most surprising offseason moves by trading star wide receiver Tyreek Hill. The Pro Bowler desired a lucrative extension out of the Chiefs’ price range, leading general manager Brett Veach and head coach Andy Reid to move on from him.
Kansas City will look markedly different in the 2022 season behind a renewed offensive approach with Hill gone. However, Reid voiced unchanged confidence the Cheifs can win without the star wideout.
Chiefs trade Tyreek Hill to the Chiefs
After working through extension talks behind closed doors, the Chiefs concluded that trading the Pro Bowler was the only route.
Kansas City moved Hill to his desired landing spot with the Miami Dolphins in exchange for five draft picks: a 2022 first-round pick (29th overall), a 2022 second-round selection (50th overall), a fourth-round pick, along with fourth- and sixth-round selections in the 2023 NFL draft.
Hill also received the contract he wanted with a four-year, $120 million extension with Miami. The 28-year-old was previously in the final year of his three-year, $54 million deal. His departure leaves a gaping void in the Chiefs’ offense as he’s become of the game’s best talents. He recorded north of 1,000 receiving yards in four out of the last five seasons while he notched double-digit touchdowns twice.
Despite Hill’s departure, head coach Andy Reid remains quite confident the Chiefs can stay on course.
Andy Reid undercuts Tyreek Hill by confidently saying Chiefs can still win without him
In the aftermath of the Tyreek Hill trade, the Chiefs have to readjust their offensive game plan.
Kansas City desired to retain Hill, but his asking price on his next contract proved to be out of the franchise’s ballpark. Although losing the Pro Bowl talent is a significant blow, head coach Andy Reid voiced unwavering confidence the team can still win without the 28-year-old.
“Obviously, Patrick’s a big part of that (belief the team can remain competitive),” Reid said via Pro Football Talk. “You want to surround him with good players, but that’s a sticky question, because we did try to sign Tyreek at a certain cost. Once it gets past that, now you can see what we’re doing here with the players we brought in, and we feel they’re very good football players. So we’ll see. I mean the end result is going to be what takes place during the season, but Brett’s building this thing back where we feel comfortable that we can go win on Sundays.”
There is no other way around it; Mahomes will dictate the Chiefs’ ultimate success as he’s the key factor to their future. Losing Hill detracts from Kansas City his unique ability as a versatile offensive weapon out of the backfield, short-to-intermediate passes, and a dangerous deep-ball threat.
The Chiefs will have to make some considerable adjustments, but Reid knows Mahomes dictates their fate. Hill will strive in Miami, but his departure in Kansas City isn’t anywhere near the crushing blow that will doom the franchise.
Chiefs are embracing new offensive approach
As soon as the Chiefs realized moving Hill became the only realistic option, the team formulated an alternative game plan.
Before the star wideout’s departure, the front office added depth and stability by bringing aboard JuJu Smith-Schuster. The former Pro Bowler hasn’t produced up to his breakout second campaign, but he’s proven to be an effective factor lining up in the slot.
Smith-Schuster will be a feasible red-zone option next to star tight end Travis Kelce. Meanwhile, the increased salary-cap space from Hill’s departure allowed the Chiefs to bring aboard Marquez Valdez-Scantling on a three-year, $30 million deal.
Valdez-Scantling is coming off an injury-plagued 2021 season, but he’s turned into a legitimate deep-ball factor. He will have a significant place in the Chiefs’ offense, especially down the field. Meanwhile, Josh Gordon and Mecole Hardman should see increased roles to help round out the passing game.
The Chiefs may also take more wide receivers, especially with the additional draft picks from the Hill trade. Kansas City will undoubtedly look different in 2022, but will certainly be a Super Bowl contender.