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Wide receiver Tyreek Hill and the Kansas City Chiefs couldn’t come to terms on a contract extension this offseason, so the Chiefs traded him to the Miami Dolphins. The lighting quick wideout left one of the best teams and quarterbacks in the NFL for, well, the Dolphins. And the reason for this move, according to both NFL analyst Ross Tucker and the player himself, is money.

The Tyreek Hill trade is one of the biggest of the offseason

In an offseason with a historic amount of big-time player movement, the Tyreek Hill to the Miami Dolphins trade is one of the most momentous and shocking deals of the year.

On the heels of a conservative contract based on Hill’s past domestic violence transgressions, the Kansas City Chiefs were gearing up to offer the Pro Bowl WR a market deal as one of the top pass-catchers in the league.

However, a few weeks after it came out that the two sides were working on an agreement, news leaked that the talks broke down. And, before you knew it, Hill was a Miami Dolphin.

The trade brought the Chiefs first-round (No. 29), second-round (No. 50), and fourth-round picks (No. 121) in 2022, and fourth- and sixth-round picks in 2023. It also gave the Dolphins one of the most explosive receivers in NFL history, which should help third-year signal-caller Tua Tagovailoa immensely.

What did Hill get out of the deal? The former Oklahoma State Cowboy and West Alabama Tiger has been very transparent about why he chose the Miami Dolphins over re-signing with the Chiefs.

“It’s tough, man,” Hill admitted after leaving his only NFL team. “But if somebody comes to you with a lot of money, it changes. The feelings start to change a little bit.”

Former NFL lineman Ross Tucker explained what happened with Hill and the Kansas City Chiefs

The Tyreek Hill trade has been a hot-button topic on sports radio of late, so it’s no surprise that it was the first subject the host broached with former NFL player and current analyst Ross Tucker on the Dan Patrick Show last week.

While Tucker admitted he didn’t like the trade for the Kansas City Chiefs in the short-term, he did like it as a long-term play for the organization.

Tucker explained that quarterback Patrick Mahomes’ contract is more “affordable” than most realize and that tight end Travis Kelce is actually “very underpaid” at this point. He then discussed how the Hill situation was different:

I think the Chiefs kind of thought that Tyreek Hill would go along with it, right? Mahomes didn’t get every penny he could have. Kelce didn’t get every penny he could have. Tyreek Hill didn’t get the memo. Tyreek Hill didn’t care. He absolutely went for the most money in going to South Florida, and more power to him. That’s his prerogative.

Ross Tucker on Tyreek Hill

The team will likely be worse in 2021 without Hill unless the Chiefs catch lightning in a bottle with a first-round WR, ala Justin Jefferson or Ja’Marr Chase. However, not locking themselves into a full- or above-market value long-term contract for Hill is the cost of trying to build a dynasty, not just trying to win next year.

This is how the NFL operates.

Sacrificing money for wins in the NFL 

Tyreek Hill speaks with the media after being traded to the Miami Dolphins from the Kansas City Chiefs.
Tyreek Hill | Mark Brown/Getty Images

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To Tucker’s point, NFL players have exceedingly short careers. The average pro football player’s career lasts 2.5-3.5 years, depending on position. That makes it hard to fault players who make it to that big contract extension for getting everything they can out of it.

That said, the NFL is a salary cap league. Star players who truly want to win above all else have to sacrifice some cash at times so that their organization can put the best possible roster together.

A perfect example of this is Tom Brady vs. Peyton Manning.

Brady consistently took less money on his contract so that the New England Patriots could allocate those resources elsewhere. Bill Belichick spent that cash wisely, and the Patriots built a twenty-year-long, six Super Bowl-winning dynasty.

On the other hand, Manning took every dollar he could from his NFL teams. He still won titles, but he only got one with the Indianapolis Colts and one with the Denver Broncos. That’s no coincidence.

It’s also not as simple as that.

Manning (and his family) have aspirations to become NFL owners someday, and maximizing his earnings in the NFL was a way to do that. It’s hard to fault him for that. On the other hand, Brady is married to one of the richest supermodels in the world, Gisele Bündchen, whose net worth is double her husband’s. That certainly made it easier for Brady to take discounts on his NFL contracts.

The point of all this is to say that it’s easy to judge Tyreek Hill for taking the bag, but it’s not the first time a player has done it, and it absolutely won’t be the last.