The talk in the two and a half months since the Kansas City Chiefs shipped Tyreek Hill’s talents to South Beach has revolved around Hill’s fit in the Miami Dolphins offense and Kansas City’s approach to replacing the game-breaking wide receiver.
On the debut episode of his It Needed To Be Said podcast, Hill was happy to circle back and discuss what led to the dissolution of his relationship with the Chiefs in the first place.
“If teams are gonna give us favorable one-on-one matches against their best corner, I don’t see why teams don’t utilize their best receiver,” Hill said, per Pro Football Talk. “And that’s where probably like me and the Chiefs fell apart right there. When I’m like, yo, I don’t mean to talk or be a diva in some situation, but can I see the pill some time, please? Just give me the ball, please.”
Hill’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, who appeared on the podcast, reiterated the feeling that Hill’s talents were occasionally wasted by the Chiefs in 2021.
“There was a lot of times during the year that we felt that Tyreek was underutilized and wasn’t fully appreciated, and that they really weren’t taking full advantage of all of his ability and talent,” said Rosenhaus. “But Tyreek is a trooper. He never made a peep about it. He was extremely professional.”
There’s certainly no shortage of No. 1 wide receivers throughout NFL history who have perceived themselves as target-starved, but does Hill’s claim have merit?
It is objectively true that Hill had five or fewer targets in five games in 2021 compared to 2020, when the wideout logged fewer than six targets only once.
It is likewise objectively true that Hill had double-digit targets in ten games last season, surpassed 100 receptions for the first time in his career and set a career high in targets (159) — he finished the year ranked seventh across the league in that statistic.
Where the numbers do seem to align for both club and player involves Hill’s yards per reception. Having earned the nickname “Cheetah,” Hill has long been the league’s foremost threat at blowing the top off an opposing defense. Last season, his yards per reception dropped to 11.2, more than four yards off his average between 2017-2020, and his lowest output since his rookie campaign.
The diminished big-play capacity was a byproduct of defenses catering to the Chiefs’ deep-passing offense by playing two-high safeties and forcing quarterback Patrick Mahomes to operate underneath. In the short term, the approach gave the Chiefs fits. Given the club’s offseason moves, the long-term effect may have been a reprioritization of its offensive attack, which left Kansas City unwilling to meet Hill’s contract wishes.
“I tried my best,” Hill said. “I talked to the big man, [head coach] Andy Reid. I talked to the quarterback. I’m like, ‘Look, can we make something happen? Can we make something happen? Can the guaranteed money make sense to me? Can it make sense to my family, please?'”
In the end, the money made most sense elsewhere. The Chiefs traded Hill for five draft picks and opted to bolster their WR corps with JuJu Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling.
Hill received a four-year extension from Miami worth $120 million with $72.2 million guaranteed and what he perceives as a greater degree of respect.
“I don’t care about notoriety, though,” Hill said. “I don’t care about none of that. The only thing I care about is respect within the building. Notoriety outside the building, I don’t care about none of that, man. Because none of that ain’t gonna win us games on Sunday. … This is what I want inside the building. I want the head coach to know that on Sundays, that defenses fear Tyreek Hill. That’s what I want the head coach to know. And the head coach do know that, though. He know that without the Cheetah on the field, he know that, ‘Hey, Pat [Mahomes] you’re gonna have a long day today.'”
Both sides have preached early optimism in charting new territory absent the other for the first time in seven years. Only time will tell whose grass springs up greener.
Source : NFL News