The Kansas City Chiefs and Miami Dolphins shocked the NFL world in late March, as the two teams each agreed to a franchise-altering trade. The Dolphins would acquire wide receiver Tyreek Hill in exchange for five draft picks.
But while most followed in stunned fashion, that did not include the two most important players in the Chiefs’ organization: quarterback Patrick Mahomes and the team’s most tenured player, tight end Travis Kelce.
“Myself and (general manager) Brett [Veach] kept it wide open with Patrick,” said Reid, as he spoke to members of the media via Zoom on Monday. “As part of playing that [quarterback] position, there’s a pretty good chance there’s change going to take place throughout your career, and so that’s all part of it.
“I also mentioned it to [Kelce] just so he had a head’s up on it, too. Those guys are very close — the three of them have had a lot of production for us. It’s important that they see that part of it. That’s part of this game, and change does take place. You beat around the bush on it, I don’t think that’s good either. I’m kind of upfront.”
Reid said he plainly told the two players that the decision was made — and that the team had a clear-cut plan moving forward. That plan apparently won’t include a complete shifting of the offense, as has been suggested since Hill’s offseason departure.
“I don’t think it will be significantly different,” said Reid. “It will be similar to what we did in the games that Tyreek couldn't play in.”
Hill missed nearly five games in 2019 and played only 12 snaps in Week 18 last season following a pregame heel injury. In those instances, other players had to step up.
“There’s certain things that he did very well that we’ll have people try to fill in those spots without forcing anything,” said Reid. “Normally, what we do on this is we try to play to the players’ strengths the best we can, so we’ll see with some of the new guys, what they can do, and then we’ll work around that.”
The obvious candidate to get a shot in those spots is fourth-year receiver Mecole Hardman, who matches the size and weight of Hill. The Chiefs also added receivers JuJu Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdez-Scantling this offseason.