According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Kansas City Chiefs have been involved in negotiations with their wide receiver Tyreek Hill — whose current contract runs only through the upcoming season — on a long-term contract extension.
“This would be the third contract for Tyreek Hill,” said Rapoport on the network’s “NFL Now” program on Friday. “My understanding is the two sides — Tyreek Hill’s longtime agent Drew Rosenhaus and the Kansas City Chiefs — have been involved in negotiations over the course of the week. There have been proposals going back and forth about a potential long-term deal.”
While Rapoport didn’t reveal any details about the specific length or size of the proposals being passed back and forth, he did say that the contract will be structured much differently than the one Hill and the Chiefs worked out in 2019, when Hill signed a four-year contract totaling $54 million.
“Now, the last time these two sides did a long-term deal,” noted Rapoport, “it was uniquely designed to make Tyreek Hill — considering all the off-the-field issues he had — earn every bit of it. My understanding is [that] this deal is much more normal and conventional.”
Rapoport was referring to the fact that Hill was only guaranteed the league’s minimum salary in each year of his current contract — which is just $1.035 million in 2022. But under his current deal, he will earn more than $18 million this season. $12 million of that comes from a roster bonus.
As is common in Kansas City contracts, there’s also a $500,000 workout bonus — and Hill will earn another $3 million when he reports to training camp. Finally, there’s a per-game active-roster bonus that totals $1.5 million.
“Considering what he has done the last three years,” added Rapoport, “he has earned the opportunity to get a real and regular contract — one that will likely make him among the highest-paid receivers in the NFL.”
Doing this extension now will not only lock up the team’s unquestioned No. 1 receiver for additional seasons, but it will also help to solve Kansas City’s current salary-cap issues. Under a new contract structure — in which Hill will undoubtedly earn at least as much as he is already set to earn make this season — his 2022 bonuses could be pro-rated over the life of the extension, which could open well over $10 million in much-needed salary-cap space. At this time, we estimate that the Chiefs only have about $11 million available.
None of this means that a final deal is necessarily imminent. As Chiefs’ general manager Brett Veach noted earlier this week, team executives spend lots of their time during NFL Combine Week meeting with agents for all of their players; it’s likely that other negotiations are also underway.
But it does confirm a couple of things we have long suspected: that the Chiefs intend to keep their 28-year-old wideout through the most productive years of his career — and that extending his contract will be one of the ways the team opens up cap space during this offseason.