Four Tyreek Hill Trade Destinations
By Liam McKeone
Tyreek Hill is the fastest wide receiver in the NFL by a wide margin. He's grown into one of the most dangerous wideouts in the game under the tutelage of Andy Reid and catching passes from Patrick Mahomes. Now, Hill is hitting the trade market.
In a bombshell report, Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero broke the news that Hill's extension talks with the Kansas City Chiefs have broken down and he's been granted permission to hunt for a trade.
Hill is one of the very few truly unique players in the NFL. There are some guys nearly as fast as him, others who are nearly as dangerous with the ball in their hands, and still others who can get open almost as easily. But nobody, literally nobody, can do all three at the level Hill can. In a down year plagued by a hamstring injury, Hill still recorded 111 catches for 1,239 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Whoever trades for Hill needs to have two things: cap room for his extension and readily-available assets to give up for his services. They also need to be comfortable with Hill's legal issues in the past. After a wild offseason that's seen a half-dozen starting quarterbacks traded already, there are only a couple of franchises that meet that criteria. Here are four possible trade destinations for Hill and his superstar talents.
The Dolphins were one of two teams reportedly interested in Hill in the immediate aftermath of the trade news, as reported by Adam Schefter. They already employ a player with Hill's general skillset in Jaylen Waddle and having two players of that ilk would make new HC Mike McDaniel's life significantly easier. The team isn't overflowing with cap space after dropping a pretty penny to sign Terron Armstead for blindside protection, but they have enough to give Hill what he wants without much trouble.
The real question here is why? Tua Tagovailoa can use all the help he can get but he is not a good deep-ball quarterback. Hill is obviously dangerous at all three levels but putting him with a quarterback who caps out at 20 yards down the field seems like a waste of his potential. If it were just money, that's one thing. But the Dolphins would have to give up a high draft pick, probably a first, in order to put Hill in an offense where his best quality can't be utilized. There are worse ideas than loading up on talent and figuring out the issues later, but it's a strange designation of resources for a team that looks like it'll top out as a Wild Card contender even with Hill.
New York Jets
The Jets are the other team mentioned by Schefter in the aforementioned report, and their motivations are similar to Miami's. New York's young QB, Zach Wilson, just suffered through a brutal rookie season during which his lack of a go-to target clearly hindered his development. The team around him was horrific in many ways but the receiving group was one of the weakest in the NFL, even before injuries hammered the top of the depth chart. Wilson's progress would be boosted by having a guy like Hill around.
Again, though, we come back to intelligent allocation of resources. Wilson needs a better receiving group than he did last year, that's for damn sure. But trading a high pick for Hill and then paying him many millions of dollars when the rest of the roster is miles away from contention may not be the best path forward. Ultimately, if it helps Wilson turn into a starting-caliber QB, it's money and picks well spent. But it's a big risk to take.
The Eagles have invested an awful lot of resources into receiver over the last few years and have very little to show for it. DeVonta Smith had a decent rookie season but he alone cannot wash the stain of Jalen Reagor or JJ Arcega-Whiteside. Philly has 10 picks in the upcoming NFL Draft, including No. 15, No. 16, and No. 19 overall. They can certainly afford to use a couple of those picks, and even one of their firsts, to go after Hill and finally find the No. 1 wideout they've desperately been searching for.
It feels like a win-win for everybody. Jalen Hurts is young and struggles with deep throws but not to the extent of Tagovailoa, so he'd benefit greatly from Hill's presence. The Chiefs send their star wideout out of the conference. Philly has the money to give Hill a big new deal and the motivation to do so after making the playoffs in 2021. If the Eagles are willing to sweeten the pot with all the picks they have, this is a deal that should happen.
The Panthers have the more cap space available at this stage than anybody else in the league. They have another set of high draft picks after finishing far down in the standings again in 2021. Matt Rhule is coaching for his job and will advocate for any win-now move, even if it comes at the cost of the future. Carolina does not have a quarterback but adding Hill would give them a very dangerous pass-catching group, even if they do trade Robbie Anderson, as was the rumor going around the NFL Combine.
The Panthers, as they have exhibited over the last year or so, are a desperate franchise trying to put butts in seats and win some games. That kind of motivation usually inspires overpaying in trades. Should the Chiefs recognize that, it isn't hard to envision Kansas City sending Hill to Carolina, where he will play no games of consequence but get his money and the Chiefs get a couple of good draft picks back. Far from the most fun option, but a very realistic one if KC simply wants to go to the highest bidder.