Winners and Losers: Tyreek Hill Traded to the Miami Dolphins
The NFL’s wildest offseason continued Wednesday.
No, Jimmy Garoppolo and Baker Mayfield still haven’t been traded, but Tyreek Hill is surprisingly on the move.
Following a breakdown in contract talks, the All-Pro receiver was dealt to the Miami Dolphins for a package including the Nos. 29 and 50 picks in this year’s draft. Hill, who had to choose between the New York Jets and the ‘Fins, received a whopping four-year, $120 million extension, according to ESPN.
Chiefs are trading six-time Pro-Bowl WR Tyreek Hill to the Miami Dolphins for five draft picks: a 2022 1st-round pick (No. 29), a 2nd-round pick (No. 50) and a 4th-round pick, as well as 4th- and 6th-round picks in the 2023 draft, sources tell ESPN.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 23, 2022
This is a massive, league-changing move, so naturally, there are plenty of winners and losers from the deal.
Tyreek Hill’s Bank Account
Tyreek Hill clearly wanted to secure the bag.
After seeing Davante Adams strike gold, Hill reportedly wanted more than what the former Packers WR received from the Raiders. And he got it, with a team that plays in a state with no state tax.
Hill’s extension makes him the highest-paid receiver in the NFL despite his off-the-field issues.
He also opens up a big hole for our next winner(s)...
Rookie WR Landing Spots
With a pair of blockbuster trades of two of the best receivers in the league, there are now multiple teams — with top-five QBs — who need a new weapon on offense.
The Packers and Chiefs, who both acquired first-round picks in the deals, have big holes for a No. 1 receiver and that’s great news for rookies such as Drake London, Jameson Williams, Treylon Burks, Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave.
Landing with a truly elite QB will help them transition to the NFL quicker and make them extremely interesting in all fantasy football formats.
Tua Tagovailoa (or Teddy Bridgewater)
There are no more excuses for Tua Tagovailoa.
The Dolphins brought in Mike McDaniel as head coach and have improved on offense at nearly every position. This makes this upcoming season a make-or-break year for the former Alabama star QB.
He’s got some competition, too. Miami inked Teddy Bridgewater to be the backup to Tua, but if the latter struggles then we could definitely see Bridgewater take over in South Beach.
Whoever starts for the Dolphins will have a massive upgrade in talent and should be a much more viable option in fantasy football.
AFC East Watchability
Other than the Buffalo Bills, the AFC East was a snoozefest.
The Patriots aren’t exactly the most exciting team in the league while the Dolphins and Jets struggled with their young QBs, but now that the Dolphins have added so much speed and a creative playcaller at head coach, their watchability rankings skyrockets.
If Zach Wilson can make a leap in his sophomore season then the AFC East will at least be entertaining, even if it’s not as competitive as the AFC West or AFC North.
JuJu Smith-Schuster’s Fantasy Value
It’s been a while since JuJu Smith-Schuster was relevant outside of his TikTok account.
The former USC product, who dropped to WR3 on the Steelers and struggled with injuries, has suddenly emerged as the Chiefs’ WR1 … for now.
With the 2022 NFL Draft a little more than a month away, that gives fantasy managers who roster Smith-Schuster a clear sell-high window if they don’t want to risk the Chiefs adding a receiver in the first or second round.
Whether he remains the Chiefs’ WR1 or not, Smith-Schuster should have a lot more opportunities in Kansas City’s offense with a major upgrade at QB.
New York Jets
The Hill trade came down to the Jets vs. Dolphins and, clearly, New York lost.
Hill might’ve been a better fit with the J-E-T-S but the former Chiefs receiver decided he’d rather be in sunny South Beach.
While the Jets might’ve dodged a bullet by not having to surrender the No. 10 overall pick plus more draft assets for an aging wide receiver on a roster that isn’t ready to compete for a Super Bowl, they will have to face this new and improved Dolphins offense twice a year.
That’ll make things difficult for Jets coach Robert Saleh as every time he gameplans, he’ll think of the one who got away.
It’s pretty difficult to call a guy who just secured a $120 million dollar contract a loser, which is why we listed his bank account as a winner, but from a football standpoint, he absolutely is.
He’s no longer tied to the best QB in the NFL in Patrick Mahomes so his target share and efficiency will certainly drop.
Hill might have to live in the short to intermediate game while the deep ball might be almost eliminated from his repertoire, so don’t expect a lot of 70-yard bombs from Tua or Bridgewater.
Hill will certainly open up the offense in Miami, but don’t expect him to duplicate his fantasy football success that he had in Kansas City. That means he’s no longer a first-round pick in redraft leagues.
Patrick Mahomes & Travis Kelce
While there’s no doubt Mahomes will remain one of the best QBs in the league, this is a huge loss for the former NFL MVP.
Tyreek Hill completely transformed the offense as there’s nobody like him in the NFL. Defenses had to account for Hill’s game-breaking speed which opened up the underneath for Travis Kelce.
Defenses can now focus on stopping Kelce, who is already 33, instead of worrying about getting beat deep by the premier deep threat.
Some might think this represents an upgrade for Kelce, but it makes life a lot harder even if he does get more targets.
This is a first.
The AFC West has loaded up this offseason with the acquisitions of Russell Wilson, Davante Adams, Chandler Jones, among others. But finally, a talented player is leaving the AFC West.
The division is still arguably the best in the NFL, but the Chiefs offense takes a big hit and might open the door for a team like the Los Angeles Chargers, Denver Broncos or Las Vegas Raiders to unseat the perennial division champs.
Photo: Getty Images/Lines Illustration
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