Tyreek Hill has provided a few reasons for why he chose the Dolphins over the Jets in his quick-developing March trade sweepstakes, but this derby’s second-place finishers were willing to match Miami’s compensation.
The Jets offered Hill the four-year, $120MM deal the Dolphins proposed, according to ESPN.com’s Rich Cimini, but were also including incentive sweeteners. Hill preferred Miami to New York as a locale and recently has cited Florida’s lack of a state income tax as a reason for the Dolphins choice.
New York offered $52.5MM fully guaranteed, which is what Hill received from the Dolphins, though Cimini adds New York’s tax setup would have required the Jets to propose $58.75MM in guarantees to match the Miami figure. Of course, this is a battle the NFL’s teams with and without state income taxes wage annually. Though, Hill’s one-on-one AFC East duel added some intrigue to this year’s highest-profile such showdown.
Gang Green offered a Pro Bowl incentive in its proposal, per Cimini. It is unclear how much of a bump the Jets’ Pro Bowl escalator(s) would have brought, but Hill is 6-for-6 in Pro Bowl nods (five as a receiver, one as a return man). That would have certainly given the seventh-year playmaker good odds in cashing in on such an incentive. The former Chiefs deep threat leads the NFL in receiving through four games and will face the team he was nearly traded to Sunday.
Drew Rosenhaus called the Jets once the Chiefs gave Hill permission to negotiate with other teams, and Cimini adds the Jets attempted to bring the All-Pro target in for a meeting or fly to his home in south Florida. The Chiefs also rejected the Jets’ effort to do a video call with the receiver, and Rosenhaus ended up being the go-between in these proceedings. While the Jets researched Hill’s complicated background and signed off on going through with trade talks — after the team strangely monitored him as a potential Chiefs cap casualty earlier in March — Rosenhaus contacted fellow client Braxton Berrios to gather Zach Wilson intel for Hill’s benefit, Cimini adds. None of this led to a Jets agreement, however, despite the Chiefs OK’ing New York’s proposal of two second-round picks and a third-round swap for Hill.
Had the Dolphins not been in the mix for Hill, the Jets would seemingly have ended up greenlighting that monster contract and thus not been in trade rumors related to just about every receiver up for an extension this offseason. That would have changed their thinking on Garrett Wilson, the team’s top-rated receiver in this year’s draft.
The Jets tried to trade up with the Seahawks, thus climbing from No. 10 to No. 9, with Cimini adding that they viewed the Saints and Eagles as teams lurking for the Ohio State target. Both the NFC squads soon filled receiver needs — the Saints with the other Buckeyes first-round pass catcher (Chris Olave) and Eagles via the A.J. Brown trade — and the dominoes sent Wilson to the Big Apple during one of the most complex wideout offseasons in NFL history.