Tyreek Hill

New Audio Of Tyreek Hill, Fiance Emerges

We have a new update in the Tyreek Hill situation. Earlier Tuesday, Kansas City sports radio station 610 KCSP aired previously unheard audio of the Chiefs receiver and his fiance, per Terez Paylor of Yahoo Sports

The new audio comes from the same recording that aired on a local TV station back in April. The TV station hadn’t aired this part, and in this new audio Hill can be heard denying the domestic violence incident he plead guilty to back in 2014. Hill was starring at Oklahoma State at the time, and his conviction led to him being dismissed by the team.

“… You ruined my life and you lied on me in 2014, bro,” Hill said. “And if you want to rewind that night we can rewind that night too, [expletive]. You was in my house. And did I pick you up and slam you? Hell no, I picked you up and put you out my door and after that you left. And on my son you did that, bro. And then then you get in the courtroom you want to sit up there and cry on the stand. ‘He hit me, he hit me.’ Man, come on bro,” he continued.

There’s then an exchange where Hill repeatedly asks if he hit her back then, and his fiance doesn’t really answer. The two can be heard going back and forth about the 2014 incident for a while before pivoting to the more recent allegation of child abuse, which is where the TV station picked up in April. Paylor has the full details on everything that’s new, but ultimately it doesn’t sound like this is going to effect Hill’s status with the league.

A source told Tom Pelissero of NFL Network that the NFL had the full version of the audio “months ago”, so this isn’t new to them (Twitter link). So far the investigation seems to be going about as well for Hill as he could’ve hoped given the circumstances. A few months ago it looked like his time with the Chiefs was coming to an end, but the recent reporting indicates he won’t be punished too severely.

The meeting between Hill and the league’s investigators reportedly went “very well” for the embattled receiver, and the Chiefs are now expecting him to be suspended for a maximum of four games. The team is expecting him to be at training camp later this month, and apparently could even reopen extension talks with Hill soon. We’ll keep you posted if there are any further developments.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Tyreek Hill, Chiefs Could Reopen Extension Talks

Everything seems to be looking up for embattled Chiefs receiver Tyreek Hill. We’ve heard over the past couple of days that Hill’s meeting with the league’s investigator went very well, and that he could be looking at a maximum suspension of four games.

The most recent reporting also indicates that Hill will attend the team’s training camp next month. While it once looked like the Chiefs were on the verge of moving on from Hill once and for all, it now appears they still view him in their longterm plans, according to Terez Paylor of Yahoo Sports. Assuming Hill comes out relatively cleanly with the league, which it looks like he will, “the Chiefs and his representation could potentially re-engage in contract negotiations for an extension in the not-too-distant future,” a source told Paylor.

Back in March, before this scandal got started, we heard that the two sides had begun negotiating an extension. Allegations of child abuse and domestic violence, of course, put those talks on hold. The Chiefs used their first pick in April’s draft on receiver Mecole Hardman, which many interpreted as a sign they weren’t expecting to have Hill.

The tide has slowly started to turn in Hill’s favor since then, and at this point it would be a major surprise if he isn’t playing for the Chiefs in 2019. Recent reporting indicates that if Hill is suspended it won’t be for the injuries his son sustained, but rather the recording where he can be heard threatening his fiance.

Hill will certainly need to avoid any additional off-field incidents, and any potential extension would likely include provisions to void the deal if Hill gets into further trouble, but it sounds like he may get the mega-deal he was initially angling for. A fifth-round pick in 2016, Hill is heading into the final year of his rookie contract. Assuming they do start talking about a new contract again, it’ll be interesting to see if this ordeal ends up effecting his potential price.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On Tyreek Hill’s Meeting With NFL

Details are emerging on Tyreek Hill‘s eight-hour interview with NFL Special Counsel for Investigations Lisa Friel, and multiple sources with knowledge of the situation tell Nate Taylor of The Athletic that the interview went very well for Hill.

Taylor says that most of the dialogue between Hill and Friel centered around the now infamous audio recording of a conversation between Hill and Crystal Espinal, the mother of Hill’s three-year-old son, that took place this spring. Taylor’s sources say that Hill was able to provide the league with a “massive amount of evidence” to support his claims that Espinal was the primary disciplinarian of their child and that she was the one who caused the boy’s injuries. The league requested full records from the Overland Park Police Department in March pertaining to the criminal investigation into Hill, but since the case involved a child, the PD denied access to those records.

Hill may be suspended for the threatening comments he made to Espinal in the audio recording, but at least one Chiefs official believes the suspension will be for a maximum of four games, and several team officials expect the league to announce its decision as soon as next month.

That would clear the way for Hill to participate in training camp, and we learned just yesterday that Hill is expected to join his teammates when camp opens next month. Indeed, once the league makes its decision, the Chiefs will lift their indefinite ban of Hill.

The NFL may now ask Hill to visit league headquarters to meet with Roger Goodell, but it currently sounds as though Hill will escape this ugly situation about as cleanly as he could have hoped.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

West Notes: Hill, Wilson, Henderson

Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill had an eight-hour meeting with NFL Special Counsel for Investigations Lisa Friel yesterday, and while the league reportedly has no timetable for the conclusion of its investigation, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk suggests a decision should be coming sooner rather than later. In defending the delayed interview of former Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt, the league said that it waits to interview the player until the rest of its investigation has concluded, so since Hill has now been interviewed, it’s fair to assume that the process is drawing to a close. But NFL disciplinary matters never seem to go smoothly, and the league could say that Hill’s conversation with Hill requires follow-up work, so it may be awhile before Hill hears his fate.

Now for more from the league’s west divisions:

  • Cardinals tight end Caleb Wilson, whom the club selected in the seventh round of this year’s draft, actually committed to play quarterback at Old Dominion. But he knew that his path to a pro career would not be as a QB, so he walked on as a tight end at USC and eventually transferred to UCLA. As a late-round draft choice, he needs to impress right away, and Kyle Odegard of the team’s official website says that Wilson is doing just that. New HC Kliff Kingsbury‘s spread offense emphasizes a TE’s receiving ability, and Kingsbury has praised Wilson’s route-running and hands. Wilson may be the fourth tight end on the depth chart right now, but it’s a fairly thin group, so he should have a chance to stick.
  • Vinny Bonsignore and Rich Hammond of The Athletic discussed which of the Rams‘ rookies would have the most impact on the team’s fortunes this year, and both agree that third-round RB Darrell Henderson is likely to be that guy. Henderson, a running back from Memphis, was a collegiate stud in 2018, and while LA has been adamant that its selection of Henderson has nothing to do with Todd Gurley ‘s balky knee, it’s not difficult to envision Henderson being a key component of the Rams’ offense in 2019.
  • Vic Tafur of The Athletic examines former Spring League standout Paul Butler‘s chocolate milk-fueled journey to the thick of the Raiders‘ TE depth chart, and though Butler still faces something of an uphill battle to make the club, he has a real shot. He performed well in OTAs and minicamp, and Oakland clearly thinks highly of him, as they promoted him from the practice squad late last year to prevent the Lions from poaching him. There are six TEs battling for four roster spots, but Butler’s blend of size and receiving ability give him a chance to make the 53-man roster.
  • Today, we added two more entries to our Extension Candidate series: Rams CB Marcus Peters (link) and Seahawks LB Bobby Wagner (link).

Tyreek Hill Expected To Attend Training Camp

Fresh off Wednesday’s meeting with the NFL, Tyreek Hill is expected to attend training camp next month barring an “significant development” in the ongoing investigation surrounding child abuse allegations levied at the Chiefs wide receiver, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com.

Hill sat down with NFL Special Counsel for Investigations Lisa Friel today in a meeting that lasted eight hours, reports Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk. The NFL is investigating child abuse accusations against Hill after the pass-catcher’s three-year-old son suffered a broken arm. Authorities have determined that neither Hill nor his fiance broke the boy’s arm, but there’s been some dispute as to whether a legal investigation is still ongoing.

In addition to being accused of physical abuse, Hill was also caught on audio threatening his fiance, indicating that she should be “terrified” of him. Even if Hill isn’t formally charged with a crime as a result of this episode, the NFL can still levy its own punishment under the league’s personal conduct policy.

The NFL has no timetable for the conclusion of its investigation, per Rapoport. Chiefs training camp opens on July 26.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On Chiefs, Tyreek Hill

The Tyreek Hill investigation will take a major step forward on Wednesday. The Chiefs’ wide receiver will meet with NFL Special Counsel for Investigations Lisa Friel on Wednesday, according to Mike Florio of PFT

The NFL-Hill meeting has been in the works for some time, with word coming on Monday that the sit-down would occur sometime this week. Florio hears that there is expected to be just one interview of the wide receiver, though he’ll have to travel to New York to meet with Roger Goodell if the league determines that punishment is warranted.

Given the child abuse accusations levied against Hill and the damning audio that seems to support those accusations, it seems likely that Hill will be suspended and fined by the NFL. At this point, the only question may be whether Hill will be able to take the field at all in 2019.

Hill has been accused of hurting his three-year-old son, which is especially disturbing given his history of domestic violence against partner Crystal Espinal. While in college, Hill pleaded guilty to choking and beating Espinal, who was pregnant at the time.

Hill did not serve jail time for that incident in college and prosecutors have declined to pursue charges in connection with the alleged abuse of his son. Still, the NFL’s personal conduct policy allows for punishment even when the courts do not bring charges, and it also allows for pre-NFL events to be taken into consideration.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC Notes: Hill, Funchess, Ravens, Jets

In May, Roger Goodell said the NFL would not interfere with the Kansas Department for Children and Families’ Tyreek Hill investigation, indicating the league would interview the Chiefs wide receiver “whenever we have permission to.” It is unclear if the Kansas DCF’s investigation has concluded, but if it has not, the news about NFL investigators meeting with Hill represents a reversal and, per Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, perhaps an acknowledgement by the league something needs to transpire on this front by the time the Chiefs report to training camp July 23. While the investigation is likely covering the bruises and welts that appeared on the body of Hill’s 3-year-old son, Florio notes Hill’s history of violence, and the comment his fiance needing to worry about more possible violence, will almost certainly result in a Hill suspension. Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith was suspended four games in 2018 for threatening and the mother of his child and “engaging in emotional abuse.” With audio evidence having surfaced in this case, and Hill not being punished for his admitted 2014 violence against Crystal Espinal, that would seem to be the baseline for his potential punishment.

Here is the latest out of the AFC:

  • John Harbaugh has committed to Patrick Onwuasor returning as a starting linebacker for a revamped Ravens defense, but the 12th-year HC has not made a decision on C.J. Mosley‘s successor. While former UDFA Chris Board has impressed, Harbaugh indicated a committee is the likely post-Mosley plan. Harbaugh said (via Ryan Mink of BaltimoreRavens.com) Board will probably join 2018 fourth-rounder Kenny Young and hybrid safety Anthony Levine alongside Onwuasor in sub-packages. Young led the trio with 381 linebacker snaps last season; Board played just 21.
  • Onwuasor may be the best bet for the young defender who signs a Ravens extension, per Jeff Zreibec of The Athletic (subscription required). With emerging sack artist Matt Judon perhaps in line to continue a trend of edge rushers pricing themselves out of Baltimore and nose tackle Michael Pierce coming to Ravens minicamp at least 25 pounds overweight, in Zreibec’s view, the Ravens preventing their top inside linebacker from following Mosley out of Maryland seems logical. A former UDFA, Onwuasor has started 26 games. He graded as Pro Football Focus’ No. 40 linebacker last season.
  • Devin Funchess has put together an inconsistent career thus far and went through most of the Colts‘ offseason program without working with Andrew Luck, who was sidelined with a strained calf. But Frank Reich said (via Kevin Bowen of 107.5 The Fan) he is “very encouraged” by Funchess’ route-running, for a player his size, and his overall progress in his system. Reich lobbied early for Funchess in March, and the former Panthers target will almost certainly play a big role for the Colts this season.
  • Another AFC free agent signing, Brian Poole, looks aimed toward a big role in his first AFC season. The Jets have used the former Falcons slot cornerback both inside and outside this offseason, Brian Costello of the New York Post notes. Gang Green did not bring in a proven outside starter opposite Trumaine Johnson, and Morris Claiborne remains a free agent. While another corner will have to step up to join the duo in nickel sets, Poole appears set for a steady gig in New York.

Tyreek Hill To Meet With NFL This Week

The Tyreek Hill saga will enter a crucial stretch. The embattled Chiefs wide receiver will meet with NFL investigators this week, Terez Paylor of Yahoo.com reports. Hill’s legal team is expected to join him at these meetings, Paylor reports.

The league will conduct multiple interviews with Hill, Kevin Kietzman of WHB 810 reports. The summits will take place in Kansas City, and Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports the first will commence Wednesday (Twitter link).

Hill remains barred from Chiefs offseason activities. He is no longer facing criminal charges for the alleged incident that ended with his son suffering a broken arm, but the Kansas Department for Children and Families is still looking into the matter. As the Roger Goodell era has repeatedly shown, the league does not require a criminal charge or conviction to suspend a player. And with Hill having a violent past, these proceedings will be critical for his NFL future.

While no longer being investigated for alleged involvement in his son’s broken arm, the prospect of Hill having struck his child could pose a significant problem for the 25-year-old wideout. The potential crime Johnson County (Kan.) District Attorney Steve Howe was believed to be referring to was the welts and bruises on the body of Hill and his fiance’s 3-year-old son. The league’s investigation uncovering more on this front could mean either a lengthy suspension and/or the Chiefs having to move on from another core member of their offense.

Hill and Crystal Espinal’s son was removed from their custody this year. An audio tape released in April included dialogue about Hill physically disciplining his son, after which Hill was heard saying Espinal needed to be “terrified” of him. A subsequent text exchange, in which Hill denied the abuse allegations, placed blame on Espinal. Hill’s fiance is the same woman the wide receiver pleaded guilty to choking and punching in 2014, when she was pregnant with the couple’s son. Since that incident occurred before Hill entered the league, he did not face NFL discipline for it.

The NFL taking the step to meet with the two-time All-Pro means a resolution may now be in sight. Hill was banned from Chiefs OTAs and minicamp but, unlike Kareem Hunt, has remained a Chief through this off-field drama. The Chiefs seemingly prepared for at least the prospect of a Hill suspension, having used their first 2019 draft pick on Georgia wide receiver Mecole Hardman. But at this point it remains unclear if Hill will begin this season with a significant ban or face the prospect of his promising Chiefs tenure coming to a close.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On Chiefs WR Tyreek Hill

Investigators have determined that the broken arm suffered by the three-year-old son of Chiefs star wideout Tyreek Hill was an accident and was not the result of abuse at the hands of Hill or the child’s mother, Crystal Espinal, as Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk (citing Kevin Kietzman of 810WHB.com) writes. Despite that, and despite the fact that there is no active criminal investigation of the matter, Hill is not out of the woods.

While most assumed the crime that Johnson County DA Steve Howe was referring to when he said he believed a crime had been committed against the child pertained to the broken arm, that was not the case. Instead, as Kietzman reports, the crime pertained to the welts and bruises that Overland Park police found on the child’s body. Investigators determined early on in the process that the broken arm was an accident, but the welts and bruises are evidence of criminal abuse. The problem is that, although both Hill and Espinal have admitted to spanking their son with their hands and a belt, prosecutors cannot determine which parent, or if both, caused the welts and bruises.

This report will not change the NFL’s stance on the situation, as the league was already waiting for the Child Protective Services proceeding that resulted in Hill’s son being removed from Hill’s custody to conclude. But although Florio suggested yesterday that the NFL may be trying to brush this matter under the rug, he is singing a bit of a different tune today. Indeed, the portion of Kietzman’s report revealing that Hill admitted to spanking his son with his hands and a belt could make Hill more susceptible to league discipline, and he can also be disciplined for making threats against Espinal and creating an unsafe environment for his child.

Florio’s earlier opinion notwithstanding, it would be very surprising if the league did not take any disciplinary action against Hill, even if he is not charged with a crime. However, it may be awhile before we know for sure. For the time being, Hill is banned from the Chiefs’ facility.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC Notes: Hill, Chiefs, Texans, Jets

We got a major development in the Tyreek Hill case yesterday, when it was reported there was no “active investigation” into the Chiefs receiver by law enforcement. It appears that the leaked audio of Hill threatening his fiance wasn’t enough to reopen the case. With the prospect of criminal prosecution looking increasingly unlikely, Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com argues that the league needs to take over the investigation. Florio writes that “signs are emerging that the NFL” plans to “not-so-subtly brush this one under the rug.”

Florio writes that whether Hill is prosecuted or not shouldn’t matter in terms of a potential suspension, saying that the “NFL has created a clear precedent that cries out for action, given aggressively zealous investigations and suspensions of players like Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott.” It’s a fair point, as Elliott was suspended for six games despite prosecutors declining to press charges. Florio doesn’t sound too optimistic about the league pursuing this further, noting the “league at a minimum is floating a trial balloon regarding the possibility that no action of any kind will be taken.” It’ll be very interesting to see what steps Roger Goodell takes next, and how it effects the Chiefs.

Here’s more from around the AFC:

  • DeAndre Hopkins was clearly banged up at times last season, but the severity wasn’t clear. Speaking to the media on Saturday, the Texans receiver made it clear just how hurt he was, per John McClain of the Houston Chronicle. “It’s the most banged up I’ve ever been playing football. I was dealing with serious injuries a lot of people would have sat down for,” Hopkins said. “I tore ligaments in my shoulder completely off the bone,” during the team’s playoff loss to the Colts, he revealed. “I tried to play even though I had only one arm.” Hopkins is a true warrior, and he’s only missed one game since entering the league in 2013. McClain writes that the Texans’ best player “has been rehabbing during the offseason program and expects to be ready for training camp.” What Hopkins is describing is pretty significant, so hopefully it doesn’t effect him moving forward.
  • Marcus Maye was the 39th overall pick of the 2017 draft, and he started all 16 games for the Jets as a rookie. Last season was a disappointment though, as he only managed to appear in six games as he dealt with various injuries. He landed on injured reserve with a shoulder injury in December, and he’s still “dealing with the lingering effects” of that injury now, per Ethan Sears of the New York Post. Sears writes that Adam Gase has said they hope to have Maye fully cleared for training camp. Hopefully Maye won’t be rusty, as New York will be counting on him to play a big role.
  • In case you missed it, the Jets reunited with running back Bilal Powell yesterday.