The NFL season just ended with the Super Bowl concluding this past Sunday with the Kansas City Chiefs beating the Philadelphia Eagles and winning their second Super Bowl in 4 years. That’s quite an accomplishment, especially when you throw in; they have been to 5 straight AFC Championship games. Some conversation last week leading up to the big game was the trade the Chiefs made with the Miami Dolphins, in which they traded their best playmaker in Tyreek Hills for five draft picking, including the Dolphins’ 1st and 2nd round picks in last year’s draft. Some feel the Chiefs got the better of this deal because they won the Super Bowl, but I disagree with that. I feel both teams benefitted from this trade.
The Dolphins went into last off-season needing to add more playmakers on offense because they have been struggling for years to make big plays and score points. They looked around, and when the Chiefs made Hill available, the Dolphins felt it was too good to pass up on a proven talent in Hill, who is still in the prime of his career. The Dolphins paid a steep price for draft picks and gave Hill a new contract, but it was a bold move they had to make. Some felt Hills would take a step back because he didn’t have Patrick Mahomes, and Tua Tagovailoa didn’t have the arm strength to give him the ball. It turns out that people were wrong about that. Tagovailoa threw deep passes to Hill, and he made big plays. Hill helped show people that Tagovailoa could throw the deep ball and become a good quarterback in this league. Hill had over 1,700 yards receiving this year, and his presence helped second-year receiver Jaylen Waddle take a step up, as he had over 1,300 yards receiving. This duo is just getting started, and if that’s what they did in year one, imagine what they could continue to do next year and beyond. It was a trade I felt the Dolphins gave up too much for, but I was wrong. Hill is a special talent, and the Dolphins needed a player like him to be a threat on offense.
The Chiefs were in an interesting situation last off-season. They just went to their 4th straight AFC Championship game and had Hill under contract for one more year at $18 million. The Chiefs looked into resigning him, but the wide receiver market got reset last off-season early in free agency with Christian Kirk’s big $84 Million-dollar 4-year contract. The Chiefs had already given their franchise quarterback Mahomes a new deal a couple of years ago, so the Chiefs knew they had to be careful about giving him a new contract. They could have given him one but realized they would be cash-strapped against the cap for years to come. The Chiefs’ defense was getting older and slower. They knew they had to rebuild that side of the ball, so they made Hill available and tried to get the most value for him, and the Dolphins gave them the draft capital. The Chiefs used most of those picks to get players like Trent McDuffie, George Karlaftis, Jaylen Watson, and Brian Cook, all players that contributed and made plays for the defense. The Chiefs also added Skylar Moore at receiver and a late-round pick on a running back in Isiah Pacheco, who was their starting running back by the end of the season and played a key role in the Super Bowl. Most people thought the Chiefs were going to take a step back, and Mahomes was going to miss Hill. The Chiefs did go through some growing pains with their defense being young, but they got better as the season went on. Mahomes showed how great he is without a true game-breaker in Hill by throwing for over 5,000 yards and 41 TDS. The Chiefs weren’t as explosive on offense, but they were more methodical in moving the ball down the field.
I know you can’t judge trades in just one year and should be judged after, say 3 years, but I would say right now this trade is benefitting both teams. I know things can change, and I know the Chiefs won the Super Bowl, but it was a win-win for both as the Dolphins got more explosive on offense and the Chiefs were able to get creative in managing their roster, even though it came at the cost of trading their most explosive offensive player. How can you not look at it any other way?