For the first four years of his career, QB Patrick Mahomes always had two elite and reliable targets in tight end Travis Kelce and wide receiver Tyreek Hill. In this wild NFL offseason, Reek was traded to the Miami Dolphins after he and the Chiefs couldn’t come to an agreement on a contract extension.
Hill’s 4.25 speed and dynamic playmaking will be missed, but receivers are much more replaceable than signal callers.
The outspoken Hill has taken some subtle shots at the QB from which he’s caught 331 passes for 4,638 yards and 42 touchdowns in 58 games. But with Hill now in Miami, he’s been loose with the lips concerning Mahomes despite their success together. Those comments range from Hill believing Mahomes will struggle without him, to saying his new QB Tua Tagovailoa is more accurate than “Mr. Ketchup On Everything.”
Mahomes on @cheetah comments:
"I still love Tyreek.", "I'm surprised a little just because I feel like we love Tyreek here."
I'm not sure what Mahomes is saying here. Why add "still" love him? why wouldn't you anymore? he's not allowed to speak his truth because you love him? https://t.co/YW69YknrWf
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) June 18, 2022
On ESPN’s “Get Up,” NFL analyst Jeremy Fowler mentioned he believes Hill is intentionally poking the bear in K.C.
“Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid were already pretty motivated and eager to show what they could do … and remind people hey, we won 12 games or more every year since Mahomes and Reid has been together. You’ve got JuJu Smith-Schuster Marquez Valdes-Scantling, all these players that they can spread the ball to.”
Hill signed a four-year, $120 million deal with $72 million guaranteed upon being traded to the Dolphins. Some of Hill’s aggression is probably a part of him trying to reset his mind after being a member of some of the biggest moments in Chiefs history. Hill wants his team and the rest of the NFL know that he’s all in and if he can cause the Chiefs some discomfort for refusing to pay him the bag he wanted, then so be it.
“Tyreek Hill’s comments recently were right on time. Mahomes was already in that mode. And he knows he’s the quarterback that helped Tyreek Hill just land a $120 million contract in Miami by the way they connected, so maybe he needed a little nudge to add to that fire.”
Mahomes Has Been Excellent Without Hill
The largest sample size of Mahomes performing at a high level without Hill was just four games back in the 2019 season while Hill was on the injured list. During the stretch of games, Mahomes was dynamite, passing for 1,453 yards, eight touchdowns and zero interceptions. He also completed 108 of 152 pass attempts during the stretch and the Chiefs went 3-1 with wins over the Ravens, Raiders and Lions. Their lone loss came against a good Colts team while Mahomes was hobbled by a nagging ankle injury.
So for Reek to believe Mahomes will struggle without him is a bit far-fetched. In fact, the belief is Hill will struggle trying to get the ball in South Beach. While Tua is plenty talented, he doesn’t possess the arm strength, moxie or accuracy we’ve seen from Mahomes. Hill’s best asset is his speed and catching the deep ball, but Tua has struggled throwing it deep thus far in his NFL career. Last year his top pass catcher rookie Jaylen Waddle caught over 100 passes and barely eclipsed 1,000 receiving yards.
Mahomes May Win Second MVP: Bieniemy Ready To Move On
Chiefs’ offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy is a disciplinarian and says he’s more than ready to move on from Hill. While he did state they’ll miss him, the offensive guru is ready to develop the talent they have added via free agency. Mahomes is positioned to have another MVP season without the pressure of forcing the ball deep to Hill to keep him happy. The belief is Mahomes won’t make as many mistakes in a shorter passing game. Plus the offense will be much more diverse in its attack, which should bode well for K.C.’s offense.
As for Hill, he might have to make a lot more shock-jock comments to get any attention from the media playing on Miami, a borderline playoff squad with an unestablished quarterback at the helm.
Worst comes to worst, the two former teammates can just throw blows in a celebrity boxing match and get everything off their chests.