The Chiefs love Tyreek Hill. Andy Reid loves Tyreek Hill.
But love only goes so far. Money talks.
In the end, Reid and the Chiefs found Hill’s asking price out of their price range.
“You can handle it any way you want to handle it. We handled it the way we did there,” Reid said from the NFL owners meetings Monday. “We felt like Tyreek deserved an opportunity. We came in aggressive and then after we got to a point, we just said, ‘Hey, listen, in this day and age, you have issues that you have to deal with with the cap,’ so we felt like it was better to allow him to go ahead and be traded. You can go different routes. You can play hard ball with a player and do that, or you can kind of go about the way I did. Or we did.”
The Dolphins sent a 2022 first-rounder, a 2022 second-rounder, a 2022 fourth-rounder, a 2023 fourth-rounder and a 2023 sixth-rounder in return for the three-time All-Pro. Miami then signed him to a four-year, $120 million extension that includes $72.2 million guaranteed and $52.535 million at signing.
Hill has a cap hit of $6.23 million this season, but it then rises to $31.2 million in 2023.
“Listen, the cap never gets far away from your thought process, because you’re always dealing with it,” Reid said. “So (General Manager) Brett (Veach) has got to sit in there and manage that with his guys and if you want to keep consistency throughout years you’ve got to be able to do that and still stay at a high level. So I love Tyreek Hill. There was no rift between Tyreek Hill and myself. I thought he deserved an opportunity if that’s where he wanted to go. He’s a family man with a few kids, and he’s got to be able to support them now and down the road and this gives him an opportunity to do that. Put him a place where he has a home, and at the same time, it gave us great compensation.”
In the past four seasons, Hill has averaged 86 receptions for 1,214 yards and 11 touchdowns per season.
The Chiefs signed JuJu Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling to replace Hill’s production. In their careers — five years for Smith-Schuster and four for Valdes-Scantling — they have combined to average 96 receptions for 1,309 yards and eight touchdowns per season.
The Chiefs trust in quarterback Patrick Mahomes to keep them competitive, with or without Hill.
“Obviously, Patrick’s a big part of that (belief the team can remain competitive),” Reid said. “You want to surround him with good players, but that’s a sticky question, because we did try to sign Tyreek at a certain cost. Once it gets past that, now you can see what we’re doing here with the players we brought in, and we feel they’re very good football players. So we’ll see. I mean the end result is going to be what takes place during the season, but Brett’s building this thing back where we feel comfortable that we can go win on Sundays.”