Tyreek Hill is just the latest star NFL player to be moved in a blockbuster trade thus far this offseason.
For Miami, the idea was to add a legit star wide receiver for young quarterback Tua Tagovailoa in new Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel’s system.
Kansas City failed to work out a contract extension for Hill. That’s one of the primary reasons the Chiefs pulled off Wednesday’s stunner. After all, Hill agreed to a four-year, $120 million extension with Miami — making him the highest-paid wide receiver in NFL history.
Below, we look at the four biggest winners and losers from this blockbuster Tyreek Hill trade.
Winner: Tua Tagovailoa
This one seems rather obvious. Miami now boasts an elite-level starting wide receiver pairing in Tyreek Hill and stud youngster Jaylen Waddle. It’s darn clear that the team is going all in with Tua despite previous questions about his future in South Beach.
- Tyreek Hill stats (2021): 111 receptions, 1,239 yards, 9 TD, 70% catch rate
To say that the 28-year-old Hill has been among the most-dynamic weapons in the NFL over the past several years would be an understatement. Back in 2020, he actually put up 1,276 yards with 15 touchdowns. Adding him to the mix to go with another speedy receiver in Waddle has to be seen as a win for Tua.
- Jaylen Waddle stats (2021): 104 receptions, 1,015 yards, 6 TD, 74% catch rate
The onus is now on Tua to live up to his billing as a top-five pick. He has the dominant weapons and a new-found franchise left tackle in Terron Armstead. Struggles in 2022 would tell us all we need to know about his status moving forward.
Loser: Patrick Mahomes going to work without Tyreek Hill
One of the most-productive young quarterbacks the NFL has ever seen, Mahomes is now taking on a veteran role with the Chiefs. He’ll be doing so without a guy who has acted as his No. 1 receiver and go-to target in each of his first four seasons as Kansas City’s starter.
There’s not much of a sample size here for Mahomes without Hill in the mix. When the receiver missed four games to injury early in the 2019 campaign, Mahomes was still able to throw eight touchdowns against zero interceptions while averaging 363 passing yards per game.
Unfortunately for Mahomes, there’s no Sammy Watkins or Demarcus Robinson to pick up the slack. Will the recently-signed JuJu Smith-Schuster be able to return to earlier-career form? Can Kansas City add another big-time receiver through the NFL trade block? These are two major questions lingering around Mahomes following the Hill trade.
Winner: Deebo Samuel about to get the bucks
As noted above, Hill set the new standard for a wide receiver in the NFL after new Las Vegas Raiders star Davante Adams had set the record just a short while ago.
- Tyreek Hill contract: 4 years, $120 million; $30 million annually with $52.54 million fully guaranteed
There’s somewhat of a caveat to this contract. Hill’s cap hit for the 2026 season is $50.1 million. He’s not going to come close to counting that much against the cap — meaning the $30 million average annual salary is fluff.
Even then, it stands to reason that Samuel is going to get a monster contract extension from the San Francisco 49ers in his first offseason being eligible for one.
The young receiver is different than others in that he moonlights as a running back, too. Last season saw Samuel record 77 receptions for 1,405 yards while adding 365 rushing yards to the mix. He’s going to cash out to the tune of north of $27 million annually. Take that to the bank.
Loser: DeVante Parker taken down a notch
When then-Dolphins general manager Dennis Hickey selected Parker in the top-12 of the 2015 NFL Draft, the expectation was that this former Louisville standout would end up becoming a franchise wide receiver.
Fast forward seven seasons, and it never panned out for Parker in South Beach. He’s missed substantial time to injury and has proven to be extremely inconsistent. Last season alone, Parker caught just 55% of his targets.
Now 29 years old, Parker’s future in Miami is up in the air. He’s set to count $8.7 million against the cap in 2022. Miami can save north of $3 million by trading or releasing him. In addition to Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle, the Dolphins also boast the newly-signed Cedrick Wilson and stud tight end Mike Gesicki as better options for Tua in the passing game.