The Miami Dolphins have traded for Kansas City Chiefs four-time All-Pro wide receiver Tyreek Hill.
In addition, the Dolphins will be giving Hill a four-year, $120 million extension, including $72.2 million guaranteed, making him the highest-paid wide receiver in NFL history. Was this a good move by the Dolphins? Are they playoff contenders? Where do the Chiefs go from here?
Chiefs are trading six-time Pro-Bowl WR Tyreek Hill to the Miami Dolphins for five draft picks: a 2022 1st-round pick (No. 29), a 2nd-round pick (No. 50) and a 4th-round pick, as well as 4th- and 6th-round picks in the 2023 draft, sources tell ESPN.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 23, 2022
Let’s get the particulars out of the way.
The Dolphins sent five draft picks to the Chiefs in exchange for Hill, including a first, second, and fourth in the upcoming 2022 NFL draft.
The Chiefs are in a bit of salary cap purgatory after they franchise tagged offensive lineman Orlando Brown. MVP quarterback Patrick Mahomes is due a roster bonus, and they have slots for 2022 draft picks accounted for. The money Hill was looking for wouldn’t have worked, so now they’ve got to replace him with younger talents on team-friendlier deals.
The Dolphins acquired a game-changer in Hill, but giving up three of their first four picks in the upcoming draft was a steep price, considering their needs. This team was 9-8 last season and missed the playoffs. They finished 24th in total offensive DVOA. 23rd in pass DVOA and 29th in rush DVOA. Hill will help. But not that much …
They still need offensive line help, graded out as the 30th-best line last season and defensive line help, graded put 16th. And their quarterback, Tua Tagovailoa, is only entering his third season.
Hill is a big splash and a name to excite the fan base, but it doesn’t mean the Dolphins are now a playoff team.
The Buffalo Bills and New England Patriots are still better within their own division, and throughout the rest of the AFC there are at least four additional teams that are better. That would place the Dolphins at seventh-best, and that’s optimistic.
Hill does highlight a nice group of weapons for Tagovailoa and the Dolphins, including Chase Edmonds, DeVante Parker, Jaylen Waddle, and Mike Gesicki. But the team’s success will be determined by how good Tagovailoa can be.
As for the Chiefs, they are much more assured at quarterback with Mahomes, but replacing Hill won’t be easy. He had 111 receptions for 1,239 yards and nine touchdowns last season. According to Football Outsiders DYAR measurement, Hill was the seventh-most valuable receiver in the league last year.
That’s going to put more pressure on Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce and the newly acquired Juju Smith-Schuster. But the acquisition of the first-round pick by the Chiefs was big. This is a receiver-rich draft, with at least six wide receivers earning first-round grades. Maybe the Chiefs grab a receiver in the first.
Ultimately, the Chiefs weren’t willing to go to highest-paid receiver level to retain Hill. Having already won a Super Bowl and having an MVP quarterback affords them that luxury.
The Dolphins rolled the dice and are going all in to try and make the playoffs. Over the long haul it will be interesting to see how this plays out.