Chris Grier: First thing Tyreek Hill said when we traded for him is he wants to return punts

Arizona Cardinals v Kansas City Chiefs
Getty Images

As a rookie in Kansas City, Tyreek Hill handled all the punt returns for the Chiefs, and he was outstanding: Hill led the NFL in punt return yards, average and touchdowns that year. But the Chiefs quickly decided Hill was too valuable on offense to risk getting him injured on special teams, and took him off return duty.

Now the Dolphins are facing the question of whether Hill should play on special teams, and at the moment they appear undecided.

Dolphins General Manager Chris Grier said Hill’s first request upon becoming a Dolphin was to get to return punts again.

“Tyreek, the first thing he said was I want to make sure I’m back there, getting a couple of returns every game,” Grier said, via the Palm Beach Post.

Last year the Dolphins’ primary punt returner was safety Jevon Holland, and they also had wide receiver Jaylen Waddle handle some returns. Grier said the Dolphins have plenty of players who can do it.

“We’re fortunate with him, Holland, Waddle,” Grier said. “We have guys that can do it. They’re all big contributors on their side of the ball as well. And we also have a couple other guys that can return. So we’re not really worried about the return game.”

But what could worry the Chiefs is injuries in the return game. NFL chief medical officer Dr. Allen Sills said the league has identified punt returning as one of the most dangerous positions on the field. Punt returners have far more injuries per play than wide receivers do. The Dolphins may decide that they can’t risk Hill suffering a serious injury on punt returns, and deny his request.

37 responses to “Chris Grier: First thing Tyreek Hill said when we traded for him is he wants to return punts

  1. Seems like a good idea until he gets injured on a return play…. Definitely don’t want him running down the Steelers sideline with Tomlin over there….

  2. And if you let a $30M player return punts, you’re the dumbest team on the planet.

  3. Devin Hester was more valuable than any receiver the Bears had during his time there. Tyreek Hill returning half the punts is worth the risk.

  4. he knows that’s the only way he’ll have a shot at maintaining all pro status as his qb’s level has dropped a few notches.

  5. I think we have better expectations of Hill on the field and hope nobody get a screwy idea to let him try returning. Returning kick offs or punts is like placing your hand in a blender.

  6. Well, they gotta score some how. Tyreek has a good a chance at touchdowns returning kicks as Tua does driving down the field.

  7. You are no Deebo Samuels Tyreek. Stick to what you do best, outrunning DBs.

  8. I personally wouldn’t allow how much money he makes be any kind of deterrent to him running back punts or kickoffs.
    Seems logical to try and get the most bang for all bucks he’s getting. I’d see if he could hold for the PAT’s too.

  9. Way to shorten his career. It was okay when he was a rookie and not a known commodity. But unless he’s just a spot returner (like Washington used to use Darrell Green), then you’ve just ruined his career longevity.

  10. Well, since he got paid, I guess he thinks if he gets crippled returning punts, it won’t matter all that much…

  11. Plunt and kickoffs have potential to be most exciting plays, I can not figure out why NFL does not want exciting plays

  12. There was just one player with 17 or more punt returns last year (averaging 1 or more per team game) with 1,000 yards receiving. That was Hunter Renfrow (and he was tied for 3rd most returns in the league, and 1 of 5 players with 300 or more yards returning punts). Hill (as well as Renfrow now) are too valuable at WR for punt returning. But it does provide an edge to the player. If the Dolphins need field position at the end of a game and oponent is punting, I put Hill back to return. He’s that dynamic of a playmaker.

  13. The “risk” of Hill returning punts is indirectly proportionate to the quality of QB play they get.

  14. I’ve heard Hill accused of a lot of things. Making smart decisions isn’t one of them.

  15. Considering the percentage of returns that get called back for penalties, I probably wouldn’t risk it.

  16. Maybe in the playoffs it is worth the risk. So I guess you won’t be returning any punts in Miami.

  17. New signing Terron Armstead also said the same thing, they’ll be fighting for opportunities.

  18. Everyone acting like he’s going to be playing on every punt return is either delusional or hopeful. He won’t. Fins have Waddle as well. It will be a situational decision. It also helps with team bonding with him showing he’s not above playing ST. There’s a lot of hate and envy on this board. I’m guessing it’s a split between between jaded KC fans and fans of the AFC East teams. Just a hunch.

  19. jm91rs says:
    March 30, 2022 at 2:25 pm
    Devin Hester was more valuable than any receiver the Bears had during his time there. Tyreek Hill returning half the punts is worth the risk.


    Brandon Marshall with twice as many TD’s in half the time on line one…

  20. I’d tell him that he gets one full season of pint returns (as long as he is healthy) and after that we will see how it goes. As soon as he agrees, I tell him that season will be 2025.

  21. Darrell Green wanted to return punts, too, and he was superb in that role. HOwever, Joe Gibbs was careful and only used him as a punt returner when a momentum change was needed because Green was much too valuable as a cornerback to risk injury returning a punt. One such occasion was in the playoffs in Chicago in 1988. Green returned a punt for a TD….and was injured on the play. He returned for just one play, and was done for the rest of the game. Worth it? Perhaps – the Redskins won the game and went on to win Super Bowl XXII. With the amount of money Miami is paying Hill, they’d better proceed with caution.

  22. First thing Tyreek Hill said when we traded for him is he wants to return punts

    You have to be able to stop opposing offenses first and force them to punt. Otherwise, this is a mute point.

    Good luck

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.