It’s been almost two years since the Miami Dolphins and Kansas City Chiefs made the trade that shocked the NFL world. The Chiefs traded star wide receiver Tyreek Hill to the Dolphins for five picks in the NFL Draft. People felt the Chiefs were crazy trading away the most dynamic player in the league, and the Dolphins gave up too much to get Hill. Some felt Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes wouldn’t be as good a quarterback without Hill, while some wondered if Hill would flourish with Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. It turns out that both players and teams did well in this deal.

 

The Chiefs were in a tough spot because they were up against the salary cap, and they had given Mahomes a big new contract. They also were locked in with star defensive tackle Chris Jones. Hill had one more year on his contract at under $18 million, and the Chiefs were willing to try to work out an extension. The problem was the wide receiver market was inflating. Receivers like Davante Adams got a new 140 million dollar contract, Christian Kirk got over $70 million, and other receivers got [aid as well. Hill wanted to get compensated as he should, but the Chiefs knew if they gave him a new contract, it would put them in a bind in their spending, and they would probably have to get rid of some players on the roster to make it work.

On top of that, the Chiefs didn’t have the draft picks to rebuild parts of the roster. The Chiefs looked around, and the Dolphins were willing to offer a 1st, 2nd, and 4th round pick in 2022 and a 4th and 6th round pick in 2023. The New York Jets were also rumored to be interested but didn’t appear as serious as the Dolphins. The Chiefs took the Dolphins deal.

 

The Dolphins were also in a tough spot going into the 2022 off-season. They fired coach Brian Flores and hired offensive-minded coach Mike McDaniel, whose job was to coach up Tagovailoa. Tagovailoa and Flores didn’t get along. Some felt Tagovailoa lost his confidence, and his performance suffered under Flores. The Dolphins also didn’t have a lot of playmakers on offense to help him out, and the Dolphins needed to acquire an impact player to help not only Tagovailoa but also give the Dolphins a weapon on offense that put fear in the defenses to pen things up other players, like wide receiver Jaylen Waddle.

The goal of the 2022 off-season was to surround Tagovailoa with more weapons to give him and the offense a chance to flourish. The Dolphins’ offense last year flourished with Hill, Waddle, and Tagovailoa, and they made big plays. The offense stalled when Tagovailoa got hurt, but the Dolphins made the playoffs. This year, the Dolphins offense looks even better with those three and a running game to complement the passing game as the Dolphins are off to their best start at 6-2 in over 20 years and look to be well on their way to another playoff appearance. Hill already has over 1,000 yards receiving through 8 games and looks well on his way to 2,000 yards barring injury.

The Chiefs lost their most dynamic player, but Mahomes remained arguably the best quarterback in the game as he led the Chiefs to their 2nd Super Bowl championship in 4 years. The Chiefs used some of the draft capital it received from the Dolphins on some young players on defense, with defensive back Trent McDuffie and edge rusher George Karlaftis. They also drafted a young, speedy receiver in Sky Moore and added some other players, such as Isiah Pacheco. These guys all made contributions to the Chiefs Super Bowl Championship season. The Chiefs may not have big plays in the passing game like they did with Hill, but coach Andy Reid is one of the best coaches in the game and comes up with good offensive game plans.

When he was with the Philadelphia Eagles, he didn’t have big-name receivers to go with quarterback Donavan McNabb. Still, he had an efficient offense to complement their defense and go to 4 straight NFC Championship games and 1 Super Bowl. The Chiefs have gone to 4 straight AFC Championship games and won 2 out of 3 Super Bowls in the process. They are well on their way to another AFC West division title. They could very well make it back to not only the AFC Championship game but another Super Bowl because they have put together a solid team, even if they had to make the painful trade of Hill. The NFL is a business, and sometimes, with the salary cap, you have to let players go because of salaries and build the team through the draft on cheap contracts. The Chiefs have done that successfully under Reid.

The Dolphins will have that problem down the road, but right now, they are playing very good football, and their offense is one of the best, if not the best. The Hill trade took this offense to another level. It’s a level we haven’t seen since the Dan Marino days, but only this team can run the ball better. General Manager Chris Grier has done a great job of rebuilding this roster and being aggressive the last few years with timely trades.

When the Dolphins made the deal for Hill, I thought they gave up too much to get him and thought the trade could come back to burn them. I was totally wrong. If anything, I think the Dolphins got a bargain for one of the most exciting players in the game. Hill has brought to the offense it hasn’t ever had. He has also brought the most out of Tagovailoa. People thought he was a bust and wouldn’t do well with Hill because of his lack of arm strength. Well, Tagovailoa has put that to rest. Plus, he’s finally healthy. People forget when the Dolphins drafted him; he was coming off a broken hip and needed time for the hip to heal and recondition his body.

 

When I watch Sunday’s game, I will think of this trade as one that worked out for both sides and not a one-sided deal where one team got the better end. Both teams got what they wanted,¬†and we are seeing the results.