From…Why Doesn’t the NFL Make Any Trades? To…Please, NFL, Stop Making So Many Trades: Tyreek Hill Trade Reaction/FF-Analysis
What’s funny about all these trades is – the teams/GMs were so puckered up afraid of making trades for so long, but then some big trades started happening this offseason and now they’re all diving in. It’s not an original thought or ‘what’s best for the team’…it’s the ‘Me Too’ movement (look at me, I’m making trades…me too) meets the waning days/years of NFL old-school head coaching authoritarianism.
There are so many things to discuss about this from an NFL to a Fantasy/Dynasty perspective, and not just Tyreek-centric things but the entire ripple effects. But, first let’s talk a little bigger picture of this deal and then we’ll drill down into the Tyreek, Miami, KC, effects.
The NFL trade craziness is just beginning…and it’s never going to end. We could debate who kicked open the door first…was it a guy like Jalen Ramsey acting his way/getting his way out of Jacksonville. Was it the Aaron Rodgers controversy the past couple years (that somehow settled without any major trades)? Whomever you wanna ‘blame’ for kicking this era off…Deshaun Watson went to that proverbial door, took a piss on it, doused it in gasoline, and the Cleveland Browns lit the match, sending the door to a fiery grave, never to exist again.
Remember, Deshaun Watson just demanded a trade two springs ago because he was unhappy at the direction of the Texans. It was only sometime later that year that we learned of his aggressive massage program. So, he was just paid not to play last season. Nice gig if you can get it. Then the moment it was learned he would not be prosecuted – the frenzy of the desperate began chasing his services.
Watson would then go on a tour to ‘select’ his next team as if he were a member of the Royal Family, visiting the different provinces and shires in the kingdom. So, we’re just gonna forget 22 sexual crime claims? Yep. Not only will we forget…we’re gonna reward the guy with a massive contract bump and restructure.
If you’re any other star player, you follow that Deshaun blueprint – go in to work tomorrow and demand an immediate raise to the highest paid player you’re better than (especially if you’re a QB)…and either your team will cave, or they will trade you to another team who will acquiesce to your demands.
Kyler Murray has to be licking his chops at all this. I would almost guarantee you Kyler is not showing up for work ahead without a new mega deal, or trade.
If I had to predict, here’s the next couple of players to cause serious waves to get what they want (either big new deal or trade + big new deal with new team):
Tyreek Hill…goes to a new hire head coach, departing from a long-time head coach.
Davante Adams…goes to a new hire head coach, departing from a couple year head coach but long-time GM/President.
Russell Wilson…to a new hire head coach, departing from a long-time head coach.
Deshaun Watson…special case, burned bridge with the organization, had the sexual accusations, goes to a 3rd-year head coach.
Either the players don’t wanna go to long-time/established coaches…or established coaches don’t wanna get into this fray. It’s a little of both. I would propose that old school head coaches are in this for the ego…it’s the place (their facilities, HQ, field, etc.) where they go to everyday and get treated like royalty and their subjects/the players have to ass-kiss to please the boss so they can stay in good stead/get snaps and touches, etc. The last thing these old school coaches will tolerate/want is a QB, or any player, especially a WR, being disloyal to the crown and/or having more pull/power than them. These head coaches don’t want ‘uppity’ QBs and WRs (or any other position) – they want compliant, subservient employees to kiss more ass. They want Sam Darnold, not Baker Mayfield.
I’ve made no secret of my theory on the death of the upper Midwest and Northeastern teams in the NFL. Add to that the death of the teams with old school coaches. And there are plenty of NFL teams that have a combination of both.
You aren’t going to embarrass Andy Reid…Bill Belichick…Mike Tomlin, etc. They think their football team is some kind of weird, tight knit (Manson) family (that cuts a-third of its members every year), and if you don’t want to go on the family vacation…well then, you’re a bad seed and going to get grounded/benched. NFL players…and all of us reading this…none of us are interested in that kind of fake work family environment with everyone bowing to the whims of the patriarchal leader who cannot be questioned, and never realizes he has no clothes.
If you wonder why current day companies can’t retain modern employees…it’s because most companies are run like they were 1-2-3 decades ago and are led by the old-time boss (or head coach) who only gets (fake) respect from employees because of the fear that they’ll lose their jobs all day. It’s a fake world the upper management of ancient companies reside…where they think they’re brilliant and everyone else is lazy and a bunch of ingrates…so, anyone who speaks out about it or has a different/fresh idea on how they could be run better for the current era – they’re complainers, malcontents, and gone as soon as possible (hey, it happened to Tom Brady…at Michigan and in New England…so it can happen to anyone). However, suddenly, the modern young worker is taking one look at these old school work circumstances and just not even applying or choosing to be part of the old school company. Where are the young people going? To the higher tech, young, innovative companies with flexible work schedules and work from home, etc., or just gigs where they are in control, independent contractors…’good benefits’ will not be their work shackles. And It’s happening in the NFL in a way…the workers are seizing control (not saying it’s good or bad…just saying, it is).
Tyreek had a choice…he chose South Florida over Green Bay and New York. Because…who wouldn’t? It’s the microcosm of the NFL…and the USA.
Davante leaves Wisconsin for the dome in Las Vegas.
Russell Wilson goes from chaotic Seattle (the city and Washington state in general) to the wonderland of Denver, Colorado.
Deshaun is an outlier…he whored himself out for all the money (I would have too) to play in Cleveland. If you get 3x the money you thought you would…you can be bought to go to a less desirable place – but you’ll also be bigger than management and can do what you want.
Geography matters. If you don’t think so, go take a trip to Florida. I just went and left from there last week. There’s so many people moving there, or visiting there, that the hotels are booked/skyrocketed in price and apartments are jacked up in price and houses are gone before they’re listed. I suspect it’s not the same in Foxboro or Madison or that autonomous zone in Seattle (CHOP or CHAZ).
If you’re a fan of a New York team, or New England, or Pittsburgh, or Cleveland, or Green Bay, or Baltimore…bad weather locations with old school/long time coaches -- you’ve got a lot of pain coming in future. Buffalo, Kansas City, and Cincinnati have a fighting shot to stay semi-alive with their QBs, but I’ll be interested to see what Joe Burrow does in 2023…he should pull the same maneuver and get his way out, if he’s smart…but the money may be too sweet to leave.
I bet Patrick Mahomes is a KC-problem in 2023. You can smell it coming…
Was this a wise NFL trade (if I were a GM…)?
The deal is Tyreek in exchange for the #29 and #50 picks in the 2022 NFL Draft, plus a 4th-round/2022, plus 4th and 6th-round picks in 2023.
If you look at/consider the 4th and 6th-round picks are mostly valueless (you get/lose compensatory picks all the time in that range, and I would assume, me as an NFL GM, I could find players in the 5th-round+ that shoulda went in the 4th-round, etc.). So, I ignore/pay little heed to the 4ths + 6th here and boil this down to Tyreek for the #29 and #50 picks in the draft. Would I do that if I were Miami GM?
In a heartbeat.
You’re talking one of the greatest weapons/athletes in all of NFL history…for two picks that KC will likely botch, or at best go 50/50 on…and they’ll likely draft a good WR as one of the picks, but that WR won’t be like Tyreek (because no one is) and thus you’d rather have Tyreek.
The bigger question is, for Miami…do you make the trade (yes) and then pay Tyreek the money he wants? $72M guaranteed…for Tyreek…with at least 2-3 great years left, you’d think – it’s the going rate in the new NFL economy. Hill should be the highest paid WR in the game because he’s the best pure ‘thing’/weapon at WR in the game.
If I were a Kansas City fan, I would be getting ready to change my fandom. Your team is set for collapse in the next 1-3 years. Only Mahomes can keep it propped up. And you can thank Andy Reid and the GM for this pending doom. Look, you have Patrick Mahomes in his prime…if you surround him with the top weapons, then you should go to multiple Super Bowls (assuming you’re just OK/good everywhere else on the field). Teams should kill to get Tyreek paired with their high-end QB to ‘go for it’, go for the title for as long as Tyreek’s legs hold out…build around Tyreek and Mahomes.
Kansas City did the opposite of that. How could they do such a thing? Because they’re poorly run…and run in an old-school way. A lethal, literally, combination.
The team/front office that possessed the league's greatest passer talent the past few years decided to augment the WR group around Tyreek with Demarcus Robinson and Byron Pringle, along with a failed dalliance with Josh Gordon. It’s criminal…and it’s a reason why Patrick Mahomes will probably want out in another year or two.
If you think KC is going to just replace Tyreek in the draft, may I remind you that the last time they had a need to replace Tyreek, back when Hill had serious charges from his wife on abuse pending (which turned out to be false), KC had to find a like replacement – they traded up to secure the great Mecole Hardman.
Old school coaches are not gonna tolerate players more powerful than them/not afraid of them/think they’re bigger than them, especially a wide receiver, and money is power on top of the on-field importance -- so KC decided to choose Reid-Bieniemy-Nagy, Reid’s underwhelming suck-up posse, over possessing the greatest non-QB weapon in the NFL…to keep him paired with the greatest QB talent in the game. It’s literally the stupidest thing I’ve ever seen. But I’m sure Reid-Bieniemy-Nagy are basking in the glory of showing you how THEY don’t need Tyreek…they made Tyreek, so they’ll just make another one.
Reading that book on the Patriots this offseason (Better To Be Feared)…the Patriots’ coaches eventually thought they didn’t need Tom Brady anymore…that Brady was starting to hold them back, and couldn’t have much more left in the tank, and would fall off once away from their sheer brilliance. They all wanted Lamar Jackson (back in his draft)…they all fall in love with ‘the playmaker’/oft-script QB who their crafty defensive schemes can't trick because the athlete out-athletes them…sometimes. Coaches are the downfall of many potential dynasties in progress…because they think they’re the reason for the team's success, all the long hours, and practice planning and film watching, etc. *See also: Kyle Shanahan and Trey Lance.
It’s also a classic Fantasy/Dynasty owner move – so worried about ‘the future’ that the present is disgusting/annoying and likely a failure, so let’s trade it early (before any collapse) to acquire the coveted unicorn dreams of the future…thus ruining a perfectly good top contending team in the league. And then the unicorn becomes a boring old nag 1-2-3 seasons later, and rinse-and-repeat. *See: KC drafts Mecole Hardman as their ‘better Tyreek’ option.
If I were the owner of the Chiefs, when they came to me with the fact that they wanted to trade Tyreek because he wanted top money – I would have fired the whole staff and started fresh. Reid-Bieniemy-Nagy-GM Veach have just ruined the franchise, but what do they care…they’re all multi-millionaires with one Super Bowl ring. You ain't gonna breakup their party. They’ll continue to pack the stadium with half the people’s faces painted and doing war chops in unison in five degrees below zero, so who's the bigger fool?
The impact to Tyreek/us as FF owners, and the Miami ripple effect…
My instant reaction to the trade was: Oh, crap…Tyreek is stuck with Tua?!?! And is away from the life-giving source of Patrick Mahomes?!?! Dammit!!
But then I started to think about it more and look at the reactions and what coaches were saying with Miami, and then I began to feel better about this.
I think Kansas City, more specifically Andy Reid and to a lesser degree Eric Bieniemy/Matt Nagy, have been holding Tyreek (and everything in KC) back…no matter how well Tyreek produced, no matter how good he was. Tyreek was never fully, properly utilized…in my opinion.
Tyreek is a guy that should be getting the ball behind the line of scrimmage 10+ times a game…bubble screens, tunnel screens, quick passes, jet sweeps, straight up lining up in the backfield. He should go deep on occasion to keep everyone honest.
So, what did KC do? In 2021, you saw it…they used him as a constant deep ball guy…mostly as a decoy. A total waste of opportunity. Tyreek should be seeing 3-5+ carries a game and several short targets to just get him the ball…and then he would probably score close to 20 TDs per season.
In 2019, Tyreek carried the ball 8 times and scored 7 total TDs. Very underwhelming.
In 2020, Tyreek carried the ball 13 times for 2 rushing TDs and scored 17 TDs total – this should be the baseline type of season for Tyreek.
In 2021, Tyreek carried the ball just 9 times with no TD runs and a total of 9 TDs for the season. Ridiculous. A waste.
Miami’s new HC Mike McDaniel is an odd bird, but he’s honest/transparent. He may be the best new head coach of 2022…or the worst. We’ll see. But he’s pretty human and honest…and he talks about one thing over all things – get playmakers the ball anyway you can. Some coaches say that and it’s just coachspeak that they will never follow up on. McDaniel discusses how Deebo became ‘Deebo’, and thus has a history and vision for this type of push – and he just acquired the greatest non-QB weapon in all of football and gave him a ton of money to do…what? Just be a regular old WR (like he was in KC)?.
I suspect he/Miami didn’t pay the big bucks and trade assets just to make Tyreek a cool decoy deep. Tua can’t throw deep well as it is, and everyone knows it, so what’s the point of sending Tyreek deep anyway? Master short passer (Tua) meets master playmaker with the ball in his hands. This may be the greatest chocolate meets peanut butter thing in football in the last decade.
I think the pressure is downward on Davante Adams to Las Vegas…that he’s going to a lesser situation. Tyreek Hill is going to a potentially better situation…as weird as that sounds, as he leaves Patrick Mahomes and it’s considered a ‘good thing’.
2022 can’t be worse than Tyreek’s usage/output in 2021…but it could be better with McDaniel/Tua.
Other Miami ripple effects…
Tua Tagovailoa – Tyreek is the perfect WR for the style Tua plays. We’re going to get peak Tua the next year or two…if he leans on Tyreek enough.
Jaylen Waddle – It’s a big blow to his FF value. Tyreek comes in and takes a big chunk of the short game goodies, and I suspect Waddle gets put into more of a flanker role to go deep and be that decoy.
Teddy Bridgewater – If Tua falters, Teddy inherits this great situation.
Raheem Mostert/Chase Edmonds – whomever is the lead RB of a suddenly explosive (potentially) offense…with the pass game fear opening up the ground game.
The KC Chiefs ripple effect…
Patrick Mahomes -- can survive fine without Tyreek, but he would be better with Tyreek PLUS a smart offensive coordinator. He no longer has Tyreek and doesn’t have any OC help at all. Mahomes will likely be less efficient but maybe throws more because this team is cratering as the AFC West gets super strong around them – lots of shootouts coming. Mahomes’s numbers should hold up OK, maybe a tick down. I’d rather Mahomes have Tyreek PLUS a real O-C mind, but he can survive going on his own like Aaron Rodgers did for years.
Travis Kelce – is not helped by the loss of Tyreek. Defenses threw so much attention at Tyreek it opened up everything else. Now every KC receiver will have to fight coverage for himself…and teams can double Kelce more now if he’s what they want to shut down. Kelce won’t die off – but this is not a help to his FF-cause at all.
Mecole Hardman – are you kidding me? The guy is a joke as a ‘Tyreek replacement’. I’d sell that story in a hurry.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling/JuJu – Someone has to step up now…someone will get good targeting/output. MVS could have some moments, if he can stay healthy, and JuJu could see 5+ catches a game, for 45-65+ yards and 6-8+ TDs and come out of this smelling like a rose for 2022?