On Wednesday, the Kansas City Chiefs made the move that shocked all of the fanbase.
Kansas City broke up the trio that brought so much success over the last four years by trading Tyreek Hill to the Miami Dolphins. Hill, along with Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce, paired with Andy Reid’s offensive mind, was feared more than any other offensive combination in the league.
And now, that era is over.
This was always going to happen. When Mahomes signed his 10-year, nearly half a billion-dollar contract a couple of offseasons ago, Chiefs fans had to know things would eventually change. Although Mahomes was here to stay, the playmakers around him would eventually go their own way. It is part of the business of football. One championship window would have to close for another to open.
And on Wednesday, March 23, 2022, that move happened.
There will be plenty of time to evaluate the next steps to re-tool the Chiefs and where they go from here. But Hill as a Chief needs to be celebrated and remembered for what he brought the organization that did not have a home playoff win in over 30 years prior to his arrival.
Hill was selected in the fifth round of the 2016 NFL Draft — No. 165 overall from the University of West Alabama. He was ironically the second wide receiver taken in that draft by the Chiefs (oddly enough, Demarcus Robinson — the first receiver taken by the Chiefs — is also signing with a new team this week).
After working his way to the WR4 on the team during the offseason, Hill made his impact in the home opener against the San Diego Chargers. Hill's 9-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter from Alex Smith is what ignited the comeback down 21 points.
As a rookie, Hill was second on the team in both yards and catches, only behind Travis Kelce. This earned him his first of six straight Pro Bowl appearances and his first All-Pro selection.
The most memorable game from that regular season was in Denver on Sunday Night Football — when Hill returned a kickoff for a touchdown, had a rushing touchdown and last-second receiving touchdown to send the game into overtime. The Chiefs eventually won.
From the start of his career, Hill proved that he was just a different type of athlete on the field. It wasn’t just his speed that everyone praised, but it was also the acceleration that made him special. His ability to turn a 3-yard catch into an 8-yard first-down conversion is something that made him different. With his patented peace sign, Hill knew he could get around any defender and punish them if they gave him even the slightest bit of daylight.
The ability to change angles on the pursuit and simply outpace the defense is something that the NFL had just never seen before. Those traits were on full display on the “Hill Mary” in Dallas.
Over the next five seasons, Hill put together highlight after highlight. The development of his route tree and the connection between him and Mahomes was extraordinary. When looking at Mahomes highlights from his young career, count how many were plays to Tyreek Hill.
Mahomes' ability to create out of structure paired with Hill’s ability to stretch a defense and get to spaces on the field before the defenders brought Chiefs fans so many incredible moments:
- The fourth down play against the Ravens.
- The left-handed pass in Denver.
- The time he Moss’d (new Chief) Justin Reid for a touchdown.
- The crossing route against the Bills that gave the Chiefs the lead with a minute to go.
All these plays were special. These memories will not go away with Hill departing for Miami. Fans get to keep these. The feeling we got as fans knowing that the Chiefs were just one play from sparking something special. That one play that Hill always seemed to create by his unnatural skill to win at the catch point on any deep ball thrown by Mahomes.
Do we have time to run Wasp?
Even with all the highlights, only one play makes us feel that excitement more than any other: Wasp.
This play was the turning point in the Super Bowl, and it completely encapsulates the time Hill had as a Chief — a big play to completely turn the game around and spark the run that ultimately led to the first Lombardi trophy in 50 years. The play that is as historic in Chiefs’ lore as “65 Toss Power Trap.”
The play that led to merchandise, memes and even tattoos.
In six seasons, Hill was selected to six Pro Bowls and earned three first-team All-Pro selections. Hill has 479 receptions for 6,630 yards and 56 touchdowns, with another 11 touchdowns from rushing or special teams returns. But he was so much more than that.
Hill was energy for the Chiefs. He brought swagger to a team that knew they could outpace everyone. He was the leader of the “Legion of Zoom” that terrified defensive coordinators all week in their preparation.
Hill’s impact on the game can be defined as pure gravity, because defenses needed to account for him,, and it opened things up for the other playmakers.
As the Chiefs move on this offseason, Hill’s legacy as a Chief will not be replicated. His big playmaking ability will never be forgotten.
Speaking on behalf of all Chiefs Kingdom, thanks for the memories, Tyreek.