The Chiefs’ offense is going to look different in 2022 than it has in seasons past. Kansas City will be without its top receiver Tyreek Hill after the team traded him to the Dolphins in late March.
Chiefs star quarterback Patrick Mahomes was kept in the loop about a potential Hill trade and even knew it was imminent as contract talks broke down. Still, that didn’t stop Mahomes from feeling the impact of the Hill trade.
“My initial reaction was a little bit of shock,” Mahomes told reporters Monday, per ESPN. “Even though you knew this was a possibility, [losing] a guy you had played with and built a friendship with over the last six years, it was definitely something you didn’t want him to leave more for being able to hang out in the locker room and do that stuff more than the actual on-the-field stuff.
“But you’re happy for him. Obviously, he got a great contract. He’s back where he has a house in the offseason around a lot of his family and stuff like that. I wish the best for him.”
Hill averaged 97 catches, 1,375 yards, and 12 touchdowns per 17 games played during their four seasons together as starters. Hill made the Pro Bowl every year and was twice named first-team All-Pro. That is a huge missing hole in the offense that simply cannot be replaced.
The Chiefs simply could not afford Hill as he wanted big money. He would receive that after signing a four-year, $120 million extension with the Dolphins that made him the first receiver to get more than $30 million annually. He also got $72.2 million guaranteed.
The team signed JuJu Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling in free agency to help, but it remains to be seen whether they will be productive in Kansas City.
“We’ll have to find production in different ways than we did last year because Tyreek was such a big part of our offense,” Mahomes said. “I think you’ve seen in games when we haven’t had Tyreek or we haven’t had certain people other guys have stepped up and made plays happen, and I expect that to happen this year, as well.”