The Dolphins are dealing with numerous defensive injuries entering their wild-card playoff game against the Chiefs, but the biggest concern surrounding the team might be weather-related.
Coming from a warm-weather city, there are real questions regarding QB Tua Tagovailoa’s ability to thrive in what are expected to be frigid conditions in Kansas City on Saturday night. If Tagovailoa is going to keep up with Patrick Mahomes in the cold, he’ll likely have to lean on someone who has plenty of experience playing in such a tough environment: Tyreek Hill.
Hill has not only played in freezing temperatures before, but he knows the ins and outs and Arrowhead Stadium. Hill helped the Chiefs win their first Super Bowl in 50 years in 2019-20, emerging as one of the NFL’s most dynamic weapons while catching passes from Mahomes.
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Now the focal point of the Dolphins’ offense, Hill is going back home less than two years after the blockbuster trade that changed both franchises. Here’s a closer look at the details of Hill’s 2022 trade to Miami.
Who did the Chiefs get for Tyreek Hill?
The Dolphins traded five draft picks to the Chiefs for Hill in March 2022.
- Tyreek Hill
- 2022 1st-round pick
- 2022 2nd-round pick
- 2022 4th-round pick
- 2023 4th-round pick
- 2023 6th-round pick
So, what did the Chiefs turn those picks into?
Kansas City used the first-round pick sent by Miami and the 2022 fourth-round pick to trade up and select CB Trent McDuffie. In a separate deal, the Chiefs traded the Dolphins’ second-round pick to the Patriots, receiving picks No. 54 and No. 158. They used pick No. 54 to draft WR Skyy Moore and used No. 158 to trade up in the fifth round for OT Darian Kinnard.
It didn’t get any less complicated in 2023, when the Chiefs traded Miami’s fourth-round pick as part of a package to move up from No. 63 to No. 55 to select WR Rashee Rice. Then, the Chiefs traded the one remaining draft pick to the Cowboys for a 2024 fifth-round selection.
The deal won’t be totally complete until the Chiefs make that pick this year, but the results have been mixed to this point. McDuffie has become a stalwart in Kansas City’s secondary and looks like a long-term piece of the defense. Moore, on the other hand, hasn’t panned out this season despite elevated expectations, while Kinnard has only appeared in one game through two seasons.
Rice has been a valuable piece for the Chiefs in his rookie season, but it’s worth noting he wasn’t taken with a draft pick acquired for Hill. Rather, Kansas City used a pick from the Hill deal to move up a few slots in the second round. Still, the asset turned out to be a difference-maker for Andy Reid’s offense.
The Chiefs won Super Bowl 57 without Hill, so it’s tough to say the deal wasn’t a success even knowing Mahomes’ difficulty finding reliable receivers this season. With the money saved by trading Hill, Kansas City has been able to maintain other areas of its talented roster.
MORE: Why Christian McCaffrey should be Offensive Player of the Year over Tyreek Hill
Why did the Chiefs trade Tyreek Hill?
Hill’s demand for a new contract forced the Chiefs’ hand and led to a trade. Kansas City wasn’t able to pay its star receiver what he wanted, which was ultimately a four-year, $ 120 million deal from the Dolphins.
For those who remember the morning Hill was dealt, it was a whirlwind of news. There hadn’t been much speculation that a trade was coming, but reports that the Chiefs were engaged in trade talks after contract discussions broke off quickly gave way to news that both the Dolphins and Jets had deals in place and were awaiting a decision from the Pro-Bowler. Hill ultimately chose Miami within hours, later citing state taxes as a main factor. The weather isn’t bad, either.
The Chiefs bet on Mahomes’ ability to thrive with a deeper but less star-studded group of receivers while saving money to sustain their defense and offensive line. In year one without Hill, that bet was a success. Mahomes won the Super Bowl with JuJu Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling as his top wide receivers, though having Travis Kelce at tight end was also a huge factor.
MORE: How Chiefs’ drops are holding back Patrick Mahomes’ offense
This season, the Chiefs have taken on a bit of a new identity without Hill. Mahomes’ receiving corps has struggled even to reach last year’s level, with drops plaguing the group and Kelce showing his age at times. That has forced the team to rely heavily on its defense, which is as deep as it’s been in the Mahomes era and has largely answered the call.
Whether the current structure of the team is enough for another championship run remains to be seen. If the Chiefs slip up against the Dolphins, there might be a few more questions regarding whether the Hill trade can be called a success for GM Brett Veach.