Tyreek Hill

Restructure Details: Armstead, Dolphins, Hill, Chubb, Chargers, WRs, Ravens, Pierce, Panthers, Moton, Jets, Cardinals, Eagles, Vikings

Teams have until 3pm CT Wednesday — the start of the 2023 league year — to move under the $224.8MM salary cap. With the legal tampering period beginning at 3pm Monday, teams are working to create cap space for free agency pursuits. Here are the latest maneuvers teams have made on that front:

  • The Dolphins have created more than $43MM in cap space over the past two days, being the runaway leaders on this front this week. They agreed to restructures with Bradley Chubb and Terron Armstead to free up $25MM-plus, per ESPN.com’s Field Yates (Twitter links), but they are also using Tyreek Hill‘s receiver-record contract to create room. Miami created $18MM in space by restructuring Hill’s $30MM-AAV deal, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. Hill was due a $16MM roster bonus; that and most of his 2023 base salary have been shifted into a signing bonus. Chubb’s base salary is now down to $1.1MM in 2023.
  • Rather than trade Keenan Allen to carve out cap space, Chargers GM Tom Telesco firmly opted against that strategy. The Bolts are keeping Allen, and both he and Mike Williams‘ 2024 cap numbers will balloon. The team freed up $14MM-plus in 2023 cap space by restructuring both their $20MM-per-year wide receiver deals, per Yates. While new funds are available for 2023, Williams and Allen are now tied to $32.5MM and $34.7MM cap numbers in 2024 (Twitter links). Neither should be expected to play on those numbers, which will undoubtedly lead to more maneuvers down the road.
  • The Panthers freed up more than $11MM in cap room by restructuring Taylor Moton‘s deal, Joe Person of The Athletic tweets. This marks the second straight year Carolina has adjusted Moton’s contract. A Xavier Woods tweak also added $1.5MM to Carolina’s cap space, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets.
  • Michael Pierce accepted a $2MM pay cut to remain with the Ravens, Pelissero tweets. The move added $2.7MM in funds, Yates tweets. Pierce, who returned to the Ravens in 2022, can earn the money back via incentives. Pierce missed most of last season due to a biceps tear.
  • Pierce’s former team, the Vikings, took the same path with Ross Blacklock. The 2022 trade acquisition accepted a near-$700K slash which he can earn back via incentives, Pelissero adds (on Twitter).
  • D.J. Humphries missed much of the 2022 season, and while the Cardinals have a new regime in place, they are not moving their veteran left tackle. They will use Humphries’ 2022 extension to free up funds, with Pelissero noting (via Twitter) the Cards created $5.3MM in cap space with this restructure. Arizona has moved past $32MM in cap space. More could be coming via a DeAndre Hopkins trade as well.
  • C.J. Uzomah‘s three-year Jets deal became a vehicle for the team to carve out some room. The team freed up $3.6MM in cap space with a recent restructure for the veteran tight end, Pelissero tweets.
  • The Eagles also went to the restructure well Friday, with Yates noting (via Twitter) they are creating $2.5MM in space by adjusting Jake Elliott‘s deal.

JuJu Smith-Schuster Wants To Re-Sign With Chiefs

JuJu Smith-Schuster used this season to show form resembling his early-career version, leading Chiefs wide receivers in yardage by a wide margin. Soon set for a third run as a free agent, the sixth-year veteran has put himself in position to cash in.

The former Steelers second-round pick has signed one-year deals in each of the past two offseasons, but his 933 receiving yards are his most since the 2018 Pro Bowl season. That ’18 campaign alongside Antonio Brown still looks like an outlier (1,426 yards), though Smith-Schuster has been integral to the Chiefs’ post-Tyreek Hill operation. Already collecting millions in incentives, the USC alum can earn another $1MM by playing 50% of the Chiefs’ Super Bowl LVII offensive snaps. With Smith-Schuster no longer on Kansas City’s injury report, that seems likely to happen.

Although Smith-Schuster should have a bigger market compared to his 2021 and ’22 free agency forays, he said (via NFL.com’s Mike Giardi, on Twitter), “Yeah, I want to come back. Of course, man. Look where I’m at? I want to come back to this.”

The Chiefs gave Smith-Schuster a one-year deal worth $3.76MM. This came after the Steelers re-signed him for one year and $8MM in 2021. This year’s unremarkable free agent wide receiver contingent will benefit Smith-Schuster, who is still just 26. He joins the likes of Jakobi Meyers, DJ Chark, Allen Lazard, Parris Campbell and teammate Mecole Hardman as the top young wideouts available. Odell Beckham Jr. will resurface, but the 30-year-old’s injury past will complicate his market — as it did this year.

Smith-Schuster stands to be one of the top pass catchers available come March, unless he re-signs with the Chiefs before the market opens. Spotrac pegs his value at north of $14MM per year; that could complicate a path back to Missouri. The Chiefs will likely look to retain their nominal No. 1 wide receiver, with Hardman a free agent-to-be and Kadarius Toney (signed through 2024) not shaking the injury-prone label that helped lead the Giants to trade him. Marquez Valdes-Scantling, however, is under Chiefs control beyond this season.

When the Chiefs signed Smith-Schuster, they still had Hill on their roster. But the eventual AFC champions may have been in the initial stages of moving on from their unparalleled deep threat. Smith-Schuster’s low-cost pact came hours after the Raiders transformed the receiver market with their Davante Adams trade.

It was crazy. I was hoping Tyreek and Travis [Kelce] were going to be our guys,” Smith-Schuster said, via the New York Post’s Ryan Dunleavy. “Come to find out the changes and we’re still here [in the Super Bowl]. I don’t think it was ever about me filling shoes. It was, now I have more opportunities to make plays for this team.”

The Chiefs may have advanced to the Super Bowl without Hill, but the new Dolphin totaled a career-high 1,710 yards this season. Kansas City’s deep-passing numbers also dropped, with Next Gen Stats charting Patrick Mahomes throwing deep on just 8.2% of his attempts — a career-low figure. That marked a steep drop from his first MVP season (15.2%); that number also stood at 10% in 2021, Ben Volin of the Boston Globe notes.

We had hoped to bring him back; it was our goal initially to bring him back. But the receiver market really shifted this offseason,” Chiefs owner Clark Hunt said (via Volin) of Hill, whom the team traded March 23. “It was something that nobody wanted to see happen, but it was the right decision. And then [GM Brett Veach] did a fantastic job with the draft capital that he received in bringing in new players, mostly on the defensive side.”

The Chiefs had begun Hill extension talks in early March; his previous deal ran through 2022. But Hill confirmed his price point changed after Adams’ $28MM-per-year deal surfaced. Hill said it would not have taken $30MM per year for him to stay in Kansas City, but the Chiefs moved on anyway. Veach addressed the franchise’s roster-building shift compared to Mahomes’ rookie-contract years. It will be interesting to see how high Kansas City will go to retain Smith-Schuster, who will have a tough decision to make in the coming weeks.

Chiefs GM On Designing Patrick Mahomes’ Extension, Building Around Contract

Signing a 10-year Chiefs extension back in 2020, Patrick Mahomes is finishing up the first year of that pact. After playing the final two seasons of his rookie deal, the soon-to-be two-time MVP has seen the market surpass that landmark agreement already. No reports of Mahomes unrest while tied to a through-2031 contract have come out yet, and the Chiefs made some notable payroll adjustments this year.

The AFC champions traded Tyreek Hill, not long after beginning talks about a second extension, and let Tyrann Mathieu‘s $14MM-per-year contract expire without offering him another deal. Kansas City also reached a pay-cut agreement with Frank Clark. The team did not restructure Mahomes’ deal this offseason, letting the superstar passer’s cap number spike from $7.4MM in 2021 to $35.8MM in 2022.

In place of Hill, the Chiefs signed JuJu Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling. They later traded for Kadarius Toney, doing so after second-round pick Skyy Moore struggled to acclimate. Missing Hill’s unparalleled deep-threat capabilities, the Chiefs’ receiving corps has battled inconsistency this season. Mahomes and Travis Kelce have still kept the ship on course; the Chiefs ended the regular season first in offensive DVOA.

There’s a pressure of not wanting to let him down, or fail him,” Chiefs GM Brett Veach said of Mahomes (via SI.com’s Albert Breer). “He can play any type of football, so you feel like you have a little bit more of a window to work with, in regards to what you can bring in here. But at the same time, the expectations are so high, there’s the pressure of you can’t miss anything and you gotta do whatever you can.

And maybe you don’t have $30 million to throw at a wideout, but you better get good wideouts because you can’t provide him with nothing. So it’s a double-edged sword.”

The Chiefs raised the quarterback AAV ceiling by a staggering $10MM back in the summer of 2020, via Mahomes’ 10-year, $450MM extension. That $45MM-per-year figure has already dropped to fifth — behind Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson, Kyler Murray and Deshaun Watson — and potential extensions for Lamar Jackson, Joe Burrow, Justin Herbert and Jalen Hurts all stand to come in ahead of Mahomes’ AAV. Mahomes’ deal also came with just $63MM fully guaranteed — well off the previous pace and now several levels down from Watson’s record-shattering $230MM sum — but innovative guarantee mechanisms exist that trigger annual bonuses two years out as long as he is on Kansas City’s roster.

Chiefs director of football administration Brandt Tilis researched baseball contracts due to their longevity, per Breer, and the Chiefs conveyed their unorthodox plan to their centerpiece player. Mahomes’ agents sought a fully guaranteed deal, a la MLB pacts. The sides compromised via the guarantee mechanisms. Mahomes’ 2024 money became locked in on Day 3 of this past league year. His 2025 roster bonus ($38.9MM) becomes guaranteed on March 17, 2023, offering intriguing security. Mahomes has also begun to cash in on incentives — via the Chiefs’ latest AFC championship incentive — and is almost certain to collect an MVP incentive tonight. Those figures add up to $2.5MM.

We couldn’t do that,” Tilis said, via Breer, of a guaranteed contract. “What we could do was what we ended up with, which is we’ll just guarantee everything a year out. And they followed the math and the cap numbers and the cash numbers and all that, and it was like, How are we ever going to be able to cut this guy? So, I mean, it’s practically over $400MM guaranteed.”

Josh Allen‘s six-year accord came closest to Mahomes’. Otherwise, QBs have stayed on course with four- or five-year contracts. It will be interesting to see how early the Chiefs would be willing to renegotiate with Mahomes. A nine-figure payment awaits in 2027, when his 2027 and 2028 salaries and 2028 bonus lock in on Day 3 of the ’27 league year. With that date four years away and the cap back on its regular climb, the quarterback market will look much different by that point.

In trading Hill, the Chiefs initially turned down the Jets’ offer of their No. 10 overall pick, Breer adds. The team preferred a package of picks, leading to the previously reported Jets offer that centered around their two second-round choices. The Dolphins’ offer of last year’s No. 29 overall pick, 2022 second and three other choices won out. With Mahomes’ cap hits rising, the Chiefs look to continue a more draft-centric approach compared to their late-2010s blueprint. Rookie-deal players comprise 11 spots in Kansas City’s lineup, with low-cost vets like Smith-Schuster and right tackle Andrew Wylie also in this updated equation.

When Pat had that unbelievable ’18 season and he’s on his rookie deal, you’re trading for Frank Clark and signing Tyrann Mathieu,” Veach said. “You’re hyper-aggressive because you know how talented this quarterback is, and you know he’s in a rookie window, and you know that, within these couple years, you have a chance to really take a big swing at the fences.

You’re still gonna have to have an aggressive plan [post-extension]. But that aggressive plan ain’t gonna be dropping a ton of money and trading a bunch of picks. That aggressive plan is gonna be the flip side. It’s gonna be not being afraid to move on from players and trying to aggressively acquire picks as opposed to aggressively trading them away and spending money.”

Notable 2023 Pro Bowl Incentives

The NFL announced their 2023 Pro Bowl rosters this evening. Besides the ability to list the accolade on their career resume (plus the monetary bonus that comes from participating in and winning the game), many players had a financial incentive for wanting a Pro Bowl nod. We’ve collected some of the notable Pro Bowl contract incentives below, most via ESPN’s Field Yates on Twitter (unless noted).

Geno Smith‘s contract bonus came via a specific incentive that required not only Pro Bowl recognition but 20 touchdown passes, according to Yates (on Twitter). Smith hit that TD mark back in Week 13. The impending free agent is set to cash in following a breakout campaign during his age-32 season.

Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard has a more complex bonus worked into his contract. According to CBS Sports’ Joel Corry (on Twitter), Howard is one step closer to earning a $1MM bonus thanks to his Pro Bowl nod, but he’ll also need Miami to improve in either wins, points allowed, TDs allowed, total defense, interceptions, average net yards allowed per rushing play, or turnover margin.

Speaking of the Dolphins, the organization saved a chunk of future money since one of their players didn’t make the Pro Bowl roster. As Daniel Oyefusi of the Miami Herald tweets, Tua Tagovailoa‘s fifth-year option would have increased from $22MM to $28MM if he earned a Pro Bowl nod.

Week 5 Injury Roundup: Mayfield, Hill, Williams, Concussions

The Panthers’ losing streak continued yesterday, leading to questions not only about head coach Matt Rhule‘s job security, but also Baker Mayfield‘s hold on the No. 1 quarterback job. Performance may not affect the ability of the latter to suit up for Week 6, however, as he was seen in a walking boot after the team’s loss to the 49ers.

“A little painful right now,” he said when asked about the injury to his left foot. “I’m not real sure exactly what it is. We’ll examine that tomorrow and find out. So right now I’m managing the pain and learning to step in the boot.”

Mayfield will undergo an MRI to determine the severity of the injury, per Ellis Williams of the Charlotte Observer (Twitter link). With Sam Darnold still on the mend from the ankle injury he sustained in the preseason, and rookie Matt Corral out for the season, the Panthers would turn to P.J. Walker should Mayfield miss any time. The former XFLer game into last night’s contest for Carolina’s final possession, as Mayfield was suffering from the effects of the injury and the score was out of reach.

Here are some other injury updates following the league’s Week 5 action:

  • Tyreek Hill was also seen in a walking boot following Miami’s loss to the Jets (Twitter link via ESPN’s Marcel Louis-Jacques). Head coach Mike McDaniel said that he was stepped on late in the contest, leaving his Week 6 availability in the air. Hill has been exactly what the Dolphins paid for (in draft capital and financial commitments) so far, with 38 catches for 528 yards and two touchdowns. His average of just under 105 receiving yards per game is the highest of his career, so any absence would be significant for the team’s offense.
  • The Ravens’ defense delivered a noteworthy performance last night against the Bengals, but lost a key member of the unit along the way. Head coach John Harbaugh said after the game that safety Marcus Williams dislocated his wrist, and will miss a “significant” amount of time as a result. That will deal a major blow to Baltimore’s secondary, as the high-priced free agent signing has been productive this season with three interceptions and five pass deflections.
  • While Dolphins QB Teddy Bridgewater earned the unwanted distinction of becoming the league’s first player to be removed via the new concussion protocols yesterday, he was not alone in that regard. Per team announcements, Saints wideout Chris Olave, Steelers tight end Pat Freiermuth and Browns cornerback Denzel Ward were each ruled out of their teams’ respective games with concussions. Under the new regulations, it has been acknowledged, some players will be removed from games and not allowed to return despite passing initial checks for concussion symptoms.
  • Going back to the TNF contest which kicked off Week 5, the Broncos’ injury woes continue. Long snapper Jacob Bobenmoyer will miss “extended time” after suffering an injury to the hand/wrist area, 9News’ Mike Klis tweets. Losing the 25-year-old for the foreseeable future will add to the league-leading 12 players the Broncos already have on IR, which have no doubt contributed to the team’s underwhelming start to the season.

Jets Matched Dolphins’ Tyreek Hill Offer, Included Incentives

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.

WR Rumors: Chiefs, Hill, Eagles, Atwell

The Chiefs chased JuJu Smith-Schuster in consecutive offseasons. They attempted to sign him in 2021, joining the Ravens in that regard. While Smith-Schuster re-signed with the Steelers last year, he said the Chiefs finished second. He landed in Kansas City this year on a one-year, $3.25MM contract. After a lost year in his Pittsburgh finale, Smith-Schuster is expected to play a more versatile role in Kansas City.

This is what I’ve been waiting to do. Everyone has to know everybody’s position. You have to know the outside, inside. You could play anywhere,” Smith-Schuster said, via NBC Sports’ Peter King, of his role in the Chiefs’ offense. “To be on so many personnel groups where we got so many great receivers who could play inside and outside, I love it. That’s what I’ve been wanting to do, to be used in so many different ways.”

The Steelers used Smith-Schuster in the slot on 78.8% of his snaps from 2020-21, per Pro Football Focus. While the veteran inside pass catcher should not be considered a pure Tyreek Hill replacement, he will be part of Kansas City’s collective post-Hill solution. Smith-Schuster joins Marquez Valdes-Scantling, second-round pick Skyy Moore and holdover Mecole Hardman in that group.

Here is more from the wide receiver scene across the league:

  • Regarding Hill, the accomplished wideout wanted to leave Kansas City, per King, who describes Hill as being unhappy leading up to the trade to Miami — a swap that led to the dominant speed threat securing a wideout-record contract. “It’s good for him and it’ll be good for us,” Andy Reid said. “It’s a win-win. I think it’ll help him in his career with the Dolphins. Financially it’s phenomenal for him and his family.” The Dolphins gave Hill a receiver-record $30MM-per-year deal, beating out the Jets in the quick-developing March sweepstakes. During a June podcast in which he expressed dissatisfaction with his 2021 role, Hill said he wanted to stay in Kansas City on a deal in the $25-26MM-per-year neighborhood. Agent Drew Rosenahus upped the asking price to that level after the Raiders’ Davante Adams extension. The Chiefs chose a trade that brought back five picks instead.
  • Jalen Reagor came up in trade rumors earlier this year, but the Eagles have seen the former first-round pick put together a good camp. The underperforming wideout looks to have secured a role as Philadelphia’s No. 4 receiver, Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer notes. Reagor will likely be positioned to work ahead of offseason addition Zach Pascal, despite the latter’s Indianapolis history with Nick Sirianni. Under contract for two more years, Reagor — barring a trade — is set to play behind A.J. Brown, DeVonta Smith and Quez Watkins. Reagor played 67% of the Eagles’ offensive snaps in each of his first two years.
  • The Rams‘ second Super Bowl-winning season did not feature much Tutu Atwell work. Despite the diminutive Louisville product being Los Angeles’ top draft pick last year, he played just 10 offensive snaps and saw an injury cut short his return-game duties eight games in. Although Sean McVay previously wanted Atwell to see notable preseason work, the sixth-year HC said (via The Athletic’s Jourdan Rodrigue, on Twitter) the second-round pick has impressed the team in practice to the point he will not need to suit up for August game work. The Rams still may feature a depth chart at receiver that limits Atwell’s 2022 snaps, when Van Jefferson returns from injury early in the season. The Rams will have Jefferson, Cooper Kupp and Allen Robinson in front of Atwell, and they have been endlessly connected to an Odell Beckham Jr. reunion this year.

Tyreek Hill Addresses Effort To Stay With Chiefs; Davante Adams Contract Changed Talks

Davante Adamsdesire to reunite with Derek Carr not only changed the Packers’ wide receiver situation; it directly impacted another Super Bowl contender’s aerial corps. Tyreek Hill went from negotiating a Chiefs extension in early March to being dealt to the Dolphins for five picks three weeks later.

The $30MM-per-year contract Miami authorized came after Kansas City balked at a deal similar to Adams’. Hill’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, said on the receiver’s first episode of his It Needed To Be Said podcast the Hill-Chiefs talks changed after Adams inked his $28MM-AAV Raiders deal. Shortly after the Adams extension, Rosenhaus “put pressure on the Chiefs” to hammer out an Adams-style accord, with the agent calling his client a superior player to the two-time Packer All-Pro.

If they didn’t want to do that type of deal, then we would get them a blockbuster trade,” Rosenhaus said, via Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. “I flat out told them that I felt like I could talk to teams around the league and bring a bunch of — bring great compensation. And I think the Chiefs initially wanted to challenge us and see what we could get from other teams contractually and what we could also get compensation-wise.”

Hill said he told Andy Reid he was not asking the Chiefs to top Adams’ Raiders contract, indicating that a pact in the $25MM- or $26MM-per-year range would be sufficient. Even after the Chiefs gave Rosenhaus permission to talk trades, which led to Jets and Dolphins offers, the high-powered agent asked his client if he wanted to stay in Kansas City. Although Hill said he did, Rosenhaus indicated during the podcast the Chiefs were “millions of dollars” short of the new asking price.

The Chiefs sent Hill to the Dolphins for five picks — including Miami’s first- and second-rounders this year — and the historically dominant deep threat signed a four-year, $120MM extension. That contract is backloaded, and A.J. Brown‘s $56MM fully guaranteed figure soon surpassed Hill’s $52MM. But only Aaron Donald and a handful of quarterbacks top Hill’s $30MM AAV.

I tried my best,” Hill said of his effort to stay in Kansas City. “I talked to the big man, Andy Reid. I talked to the quarterback. I’m like, ‘Look, can we make something happen? Can we make something happen? Can the guaranteed money make sense to me? Can it make sense to my family, please?

The ugly off-field baggage Hill carried into the league and the 2019 child-abuse allegation — which did not lead to a suspension — that threatened his place with the Chiefs allowed for an $18MM-per-year extension on a team-friendly structure ahead of the ’19 season. Hill outplayed the contract by playing an essential role on back-to-back Super Bowl-qualifying teams and producing 1,200-yard receiving seasons in 2020 and ’21. The 28-year-old speed merchant will now attempt to stay in top form away from Reid and Patrick Mahomes, while the Chiefs will attempt to replace their star wideout with a group effort involving JuJu Smith-Schuster, Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Skyy Moore.

Rosenhaus: Tyreek Hill To Jets Was “Almost A Done Deal”

Shortly after the shocking trade that sent star receiver Tyreek Hill from the Chiefs to the Dolphins, Hill himself suggested that the Jets were not a viable destination for him.

“How close was I? Who? The Jets?… I knew I was going to pick Miami no matter what because I’m basically from here, I’m here all the time,” Hill said. “This is home for me, for us.”

Hill’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, paints a bit of a different picture. Hill was obviously under contract with the Chiefs and did not have a no-trade clause, but Rosenhaus was given permission to speak with interested teams about a new deal for his prized client. Rosenhaus recently told reporters, including Rich Cimini of ESPN.com, that as of Monday, the Jets were the only team that had offered Kansas City satisfactory trade compensation, and that a new contract with Gang Green was “almost a done deal.”

At that point, however, Rosenhaus reached out to other clubs to let them know the status of his talks with the Jets, and that led to the Dolphins jumping into the fray. Following an all-night negotiation session, Miami put together the winning trade package and contract.

It seems clear that the Dolphins were Hill’s top choice all along if the money was right and if the ‘Fins and the Chiefs could agree to trade terms, and Cimini’s previous reports indicated that New York knew that adding Hill was a long shot. It could be that Rosenhaus was merely using the Jets as leverage to drive up Hill’s price elsewhere, and of course, the veteran agent isn’t about to say if that’s the case.

Still, Cimini says that GM Joe Douglas was “very interested” in swinging a trade, which highlights his desire to upgrade his WR corps. But unless another top-flight starter unexpectedly becomes available, look for Douglas to address his receiver need in a draft that — luckily for him — is deep at the position.

Tyreek Hill Didn’t Consider Jets As Viable Destination

It came out in the wake of the Tyreek Hill trade that the finalists to land the All-Pro wideout were the Jets and his eventual landing spot, the Dolphins. Since both teams had similarly-valued trade packages lined up, Hill’s destination became his own choice. It appears New York was never truly a serious consideration for him to continue his career in, however. 

When asked about the trade, Hill responded, “How close was I? Who? The Jets?… I knew I was going to pick Miami no matter what because I’m basically from here, I’m here all the time. This is home for me, for us” (Twitter link via NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo).

The Douglas, Georgia native’s first opportunity to sign an extension actually would have come from New York, Garafolo adds (Twitter link). The Jets had a trade in place with Kansas City, then “went to work on a contract with Hill”. Once Miami became involved with their respective offer, however, Garafolo describes it as being “only a matter of time” before Hill became a Dolphin.

As ESPN’s Rich Cimini tweets, the Jets “knew it was a long shot” to land Hill, but they were eliminated from contention once Miami became an option for Hill to sign with. Part of the reason he did so – other than his personal connection to the city – may have to do with his on-field role. Garafolo’s colleague Cameron Wolfe reports (on Twitter) that new head coach Mike McDaniel may try to use him in a way that is “similar” to what he and Kyle Shanahan did with Deebo Samuel in San Francisco.

Overall, there were 12 teams with which “serious talks” took place regarding Hill (Twitter link via Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald). In the end, though, the league’s highest-paid wideout was able to secure not only a new contract, but also join his preferred new team in the process. The Jets, meanwhile, will move forward with the knowledge they were ultimately an also-ran in the process.