On Wednesday, the Miami Dolphins made an aggressive trade to bring pro bowl wide receiver Tyreek Hill to the team. The Dolphins gave up five draft picks, including their 1st, 2nd, and 4th round picks this year, as well as a 4th and 6th round picks in next years draft to acquire the dynamic receiver from the Kansas City Chiefs. Miami also gave him a new 5-year contract extension that gives Hill more than $70 million in guaranteed money. On the surface, the Dolphins gave up a lot to get him, but this is a move the Dolphins had to make. 

Outside of wide receiver Jaylen Waddle, the Dolphins had no big-play receivers on this team that could scare a defense. Now the Dolphins have Hill and Waddle, who make up for perhaps the most explosive receiving duo in the NFL. The goal was to surround quarterback Tua Tagovailoa with playmakers that can make explosive plays. The Dolphins also added Cedrik Wilson as a free agent from the Dallas Cowboys, but he was their number 4 receiver on the depth chart. The Dolphins don’t know what kind of receiver they are getting in him. The Dolphins needed to add a proven playmaker in the caliber of Hill. The Dolphins had only one touchdown pass of over 30 yards last year, and that’s not going to cut it in the NFL nowadays, especially if you are going to compete in the AFC against the Buffalo Bills, Kansas City Chiefs, or Los Angeles Chargers. 

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The Dolphins haven’t had an offense rank in the top 10 in total offense since 1995 with Dan Marino and Don Shula. That’s way too long to go without a legitimate offense. The Dolphins have given nothing but lip service to upgrading the offense. Last year, they rolled the dice with Will Fuller, DeVante Parker, and Preston Williams to go with Waddle. The problem is those guys, outside of Waddle, have durability issues, and they continued last year. Fuller only played one full game last year. Parker continued his injury-plagued career and Williams struggled to return from a foot injury the year before. The Dolphins couldn’t bring back or count on those players. Williams and Parker are both coming back, but they will have to earn their roster spots.

The Dolphins could have drafted a receiver, but with them picking at 29, what type of receiver would be available even in another receiver deep draft? Plus, the reality is if they took a receiver, you don’t know how they would adjust to the NFL game. 

The Dolphins have been loaded with draft picks the last few years, and the reality is they haven’t come up with legitimate playmakers. The Dolphins didn’t give up a great deal in the future either. Next year, they still have two first-round picks, and their 2nd and 3rd round picks. The most they gave up was for this year, where they don’t pick until the 3rd round. The chance to acquire a talent like Hill was too tough to pass up.

When was the last time the Dolphins made a trade like this? Probably 2010 when they traded two second-round picks for Brandon Marshall, but he isn’t the talent that Hill is that can change the course of a game. The last time the Dolphins got a player in the prime of his career was Ricky Williams at age 24 for two 1st round picks. He had two great years until his off-the-field issues got in the way of his playing career. Hill does have some baggage, as he has been arrested for domestic violence and been accused of suspected child abuse in 2019 but wasn’t charged, so there is risk potentially. 

Hill’s arrival will open things up for this offense lining up opposite, Waddle, and going along with Mike Gesicki, and Cedric Wilson and others. Hill is a threat to score anytime he touches the ball as a receiver and if called upon a returner. He can stretch the defense with a long bomb, take a 15-20yd crossing pattern, and take it to the end zone as he did against the Bills in the playoffs last year. Frankly, he’s one player the Bills have had a hard time defending because of his speed and ability to make guys miss. 

At the end of the day, this move will show if we have the quarterback or not. Tagovailoa is entering his 3rd season, and this is going to be a pivotal year for him. He’s got more weapons at his disposal than ever before, and the offensive line and running game should be better with this new coaching staff to give him every chance to succeed. If Tagovailoa doesn’t produce, then the team will be in the market for another quarterback next year, and the Dolphins still have two first-round picks to draft someone or trade to get one.  

General manager Chris Grier deserves a lot of credit for making this deal. He could have easily kept his draft picks and gambled in the draft, but over the years, the Dolphins have been very passive in trades like this one and go the other way. This time Grier decided to take a calculated risk, and it’s about time, especially with all of the movement in the AFC. The Las Vegas Raiders made a big trade to acquire Davante Adams and signed Chandler Jones. The Denver Broncos traded for quarterback Russell Wilson. The Los Angeles Chargers traded for Khalil Mack and signed JC Jackson to go along with their potent offense. The Cleveland Browns just traded three first-round picks for Deshaun Watson. The Buffalo Bills spend a lot of money on Von Miller to upgrade their pass rush, and the Dolphins need to find a way to compete with the Bills, let alone beat them. They haven’t beaten them in over three years. The Dolphins had to make a splash, especially on offense, and good for Grier to recognize this. It’s nice to have a lot of draft capital, but at some point, you have to make a move using your draft picks to acquire a star. 

I don’t know how this will work for the Dolphins and Hill, but this is something the team needed to do. Today, teams have to score points to win in the NFL, and the Dolphins haven’t even come close to doing that since Dan Marino retired. It’s time to turn the tide with that, and Hill makes this an offense you must respect. I don’t know if it makes the Dolphins a contender, but it certainly has them heading in the right direction with this move.