Dolphins WR Tyreek Hill on facing Chiefs: 'They gon' get this work'
Tyreek Hill’s meeting this Sunday with his former team — the Kansas City Chiefs — won’t come in the place he once knew as home. Instead, it will take place in Germany as part of the NFL’s International Series.
That won’t make a difference when it comes to the action on the field, which carries the same dimensions as the one found at Arrowhead Stadium.
Hill for his part, isn’t fretting about the location, or the missed opportunity to return to the field he called home for the first six seasons of his pro career.
“It doesn’t really matter where we play at,” the star Dolphins wide receiver told reporters on Thursday, per the Miami Herald. “They gon’ get this work wherever. Y’all rather get that bulletin board material.”
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Trash talk aside — of which Hill told reporters to expect to see come Sunday — the veteran said he planned to approach the matchup like any other game.
“Just another opportunity for me to play the game that I love,” Hill said. “Obviously, it’ll be against the Kansas City Chiefs, but I’m going to treat this week like it’s any other week.”
The Chiefs aren’t spending much time wondering what could have been with Hill (now in his second season with Miami), either: They know that time is too valuable to waste on dreaming, especially when they have to prepare to try to limit his impact on their Week 9 showdown in Frankfurt.
“He’s a great player, that’s the bottom line,” Chiefs head coach Andy Reid said of Hill on Wednesday. “You might slow him down, but he is going to make plays somewhere. That’s what makes him the player he is. He’s got speed, quickness, and he’s smart.”
All of those qualities have certainly been on display this season, one in which Hill has already broken 1,000 receiving yards, teaming up with quarterback Tua Tagovailoa to lead the NFL with 1,014 yards and eight receiving touchdowns through eight games. That’s good for an average of one touchdown and more than 125 yards per game, a line that would look good next to anyone’s name on a weekly basis.
“He’s pretty good,” Reid quipped when asked if he saw any difference in Hill between his time with the Chiefs and now.
Hill’s numbers support one of the coldest takes that will exist on the internet in 2023: He’s among the most important, most valuable and most explosive players in football. When Miami’s offense is humming, it usually is because Hill is making a huge difference.
Hill was asked on Thursday about being in the MVP conversation midseason.
“No, we have a player on this team that’s better than me and means more to this team than me,” Hill said, per ESPN. “And his name is (fullback) Alec Ingold.”
Now is likely a good time to examine how the trade that sent Hill to Miami has worked out for the Chiefs. We already know what the Dolphins have gotten out of it, but was it worth it for Kansas City?
Well, it’s complicated. The haul — a 2022 first-rounder, second-rounder and fourth-rounder, and a 2023 fourth-rounder and sixth-rounder — have been packaged and repackaged again by Chiefs general manager Brett Veach in a flurry of moves. In the end, the Chiefs added defensive back Trent McDuffie, receiver Skyy Moore, offensive lineman Darian Kinnard, receiver Rashee Rice and defensive tackle Keondre Coburn (currently with Denver). Kansas City still has one pick left to spend: a 2024 fifth-round selection.
So far, the most impactful of these players has been McDuffie, a defensive back whom Kansas City is not shy about deploying in a number of positions, but primarily in the slot. He currently ranks 10th in overall grade among all cornerbacks, per Pro Football Focus, with solid marks across all defensive categories.
Rice has emerged as a talented pass-catcher with plenty of potential, ranking second among all Chiefs in receiving yards (361) and receiving touchdowns (three). Those numbers pale in comparison to Hill, but Rice is just a part of Kansas City’s greater operation — one that was good enough to win Super Bowl LVII prior to his arrival.
Moore has found the going to be more difficult. The Chiefs threw the entire playbook at him as a rookie, asking him to learn a number of different receiving roles after joining the team via a second-round pick out of Western Michigan in 2022. He’s yet to prove he can be a reliable pass-catcher, but the Chiefs aren’t exactly pressed to make him into an All-Pro at this point.
The rest of the group is a wash: Kinnard has yet to play a down in 2023 and is currently on the practice squad, while Kansas City waived Coburn.
With one later pick left to spend, the Chiefs are running out of chances to capitalize on the package they received in exchange for Hill. But they also were never going to pay Hill the money he wanted and ultimately received from the Dolphins (four-year, $120 million extension with $72.2 million guaranteed), because it’s not how they operate. The Chiefs have remained among the league’s elite because they’ve drafted well enough to part with contributors due for big pay days and allow younger replacements to take their spots.
Rice is doing this for the Chiefs so far, and Moore could follow suit before long.
“Skyy is doing well. We’re just rotating a lot of guys in there, so opportunities,” Reid explained on Wednesday. “I mentioned about the one throw (in the Chiefs’ Week 8 loss to Denver) — I think you guys probably get that on your computer there – you get that arm yanked down, it ends up being a one armed catch. He took a lot of heat for that. For the most part Skyy is doing a heck of a job for us, just keep him growing.”
In the end, the Chiefs made the Hill trade to remain financially solvent. No player — well, one player (Patrick Mahomes — is greater than the team. And after winning two titles in four years, that team is doing quite all right.
They’ll hope to get back to their winning ways against a Miami team primed to keep pace with them on the scoreboard in Germany.
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