In a rather shocking turn of events, the Miami Dolphins made one of the biggest moves of the NFL offseason. They traded a plethora of draft capital to land Tyreek Hill and make him the highest-paid wideout in league history.
The Dolphins' offense has been pedestrian at best over the past couple of years. They had the most cap space in the league entering the offseason and knew they needed to add more firepower and pass protection to solve those issues.
Needless to say, landing the fastest player in the league and a Super Bowl champion in Hill was a step in the right direction. But it didn't come without making a bit of a compromise. Apparently, Hill was eager to be involved in special teams again.
NFL News: Tyreek Hill Wanted To Be A Punt Returner In Miami
(Transcript via Hal Habib of the Palm Beach Post)
"Asked about the Dolphins’ punt-return situation Monday at these meetings, Dolphins general manager Chris Grier related how eager Hill is to get back there. The Dolphins obtained Hill via trade last week.
The investment was substantive: five draft picks, not to mention a $120 million contract extension given Hill.
'Tyreek, the first thing he said was I want to make sure I’m back there, getting a couple of returns every game,' Grier said.
The reason is simple. Seeing Hill fielding a punt made opposing coaches nervous. In his first three NFL seasons, Hill returned four punts for touchdowns. As a rookie, Hill led the NFL with an average of 15.2 yards per return on 39 attempts.
But the past two years? Hill has returned only one punt each season, for a total of zero yards. Obviously, the Chiefs decided not to risk losing their All-Pro receiver on special teams."
Hill Couldn't Turn Down The Dolphins' Massive Offer
While that request could seem odd coming from a player of Hill's caliber, his athletic versatility and desire for touches make it make sense. Then again, it's not like he was going to turn down the Dolphins' huge offer anyway:
“It’s tough. But someone comes to you with a lot of money, it changes. Your feelings start to change a little bit," Hill said. “I even had a conversation with Pat (Mahomes). That’s my brother for life, no matter what. We don’t even got to be on the same team, Pat, Kelce… I’m gonna miss those guys. I know those guys still gonna ball cause they Hall of Famers.”
The Mike McDaniel era will also start with Terron Armstead, Chase Edmonds, and Raheem Mostert in South Florida; so it seems like there will be no more room for excuses for Tua Tagovailoa going forward.