In the latest in an ongoing series of mind-blowing trades, Tyreek Hill was traded to the Dolphins. Hill forced Kansas City's hand by pricing them out of giving him an extension. The Jets were also in the running to land Hill, but the speedy receiver reportedly chose Miami. He was given a four-year, $120 million extension that features $72 million in guarantees. The Chiefs received this haul of picks:
- No. 29
- No. 50
- 2022 Fourth-round pick
- 2023 Fourth-round pick
- 2023 Sixth-round pick
The Chiefs' offense in Week 1 will look nothing like it does today. They added JuJu Smith-Schuster in free agency but lost Byron Pringle and Demarcus Robinson. The trio of departures vacated a whopping 243 targets. JuJu is a nice addition but is three years removed from his peak and at his best when operating as a No. 2 option underneath. Marquez Valdes-Scantling, who visited the Chiefs, could be a short-term fix as a deep threat, but Kansas City's future at receiver will come via the draft.
With a pair of first and second-round picks in hand, expect Kansas City to come away from the draft with at least one high-caliber receiver prospect. They will be doing their due diligence on Jameson Williams and George Pickens, a pair of lengthy burners from the SEC, over the next month. The Chiefs' offense took fewer downfield shots last year than in previous seasons. If that was a strategic decision, the team could forgo speed and look into Treylon Burks, a darling of the analytics crowd, as their next WR1.
Barring the Chiefs lucking into an elite rookie late in the first round, more work will be put on Travis Kelce's plate. The veteran tight end topped 1,100 yards for the fourth-straight season in 2021 and has always been a favorite of Patrick Mahomes. Now there is even more of a void to fill. Last year, he averaged nine targets in games that Hill saw fewer than five targets. Expect another hefty workload for the rock-steady pass-catcher.
Miami has done everything in its power to uplift Tua Tagovailoa. Their offseason kicked off with the addition of Mike McDaniel as their next coach. McDaniel comes from San Francisco and has followed Kyle Shanahan throughout his career. After fielding the league's worst line according to Pro Football Focus, the Dolphins signed left tackle Terron Armstead and left guard Connor Williams. Bringing in Hill is the final step to finding out if Tagovailoa is the face of the franchise. With two lightning-quick receivers and an improved line, Tagovailoa has all of the tools necessary to be a QB1. He now needs to show the arm talent that made him worthy of the No. 5 selection in the 2020 NFL Draft.
From a fantasy perspective, Miami presents a considerable downgrade for Hill. Between Mike Gesicki and Jaylen Waddle, his competition for targets arguably grew. He also exchanged Mahomes' cannon of an arm for Tua's tepid style. Only 14.5 percent of Tagovailoa's attempts traveled at least 15 yards downfield last year. Mahomes, during a downward-trending 2021 season, threw deep at a rate four percent higher than that. McDaniel will need to use Hill in a way that mirrors his early-career style and the usage of Deebo Samuel.
Per PFF, in Hill's rookie season, 27 percent of his targets came behind the line of scrimmage and 48 percent of his targets traveled nine or fewer yards downfield. He also posted a 24/267/3 rushing line. McDaniel has plenty of experience making this style work, most recently with Samuel, who set the record for rushing touchdowns by a receiver last year.
Though the trade likely prevents Waddle from leading his team in receiving again next year, the extra attention diverted away from him will be boon to his efficiency. With DeVante Parker banged up last year, Waddle spent nearly half of his debut campaign playing opposite Mack Hollins. Gesicki was the team's de facto WR2, finishing second on the team with 780 receiving yards. The decrease in target share could easily be offset by the offense leaping forward and defenses focusing on containing Hill.
Outside of Gesicki, who should hold steady as a low-end TE1, the rest of the passing attack will be overshadowed by the speedy duo. Cedrick Wilson, who joined the squad in free agency, will rotate in as a slot receiver. Because Hill, Gesicki, and Waddle all play from the slot at times, Wilson will only be a part-time player. DeVante Parker could be traded before the season starts.