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Kansas City Chiefs' Reid: No rift led to Tyreek Hill trade

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Kansas City Chiefs' Reid: No rift led to Tyreek Hill trade
Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid (L) said the team offered a contract extension to wide receiver Tyreek Hill, but later opted to trade him to the Miami Dolphins. File Photo by Jon SooHoo/UPI | License Photo

PALM BEACH, Fla., March 28 (UPI) -- No rift with coach Andy Reid led the Kansas City Chiefs' to trade star wide receiver Tyreek Hill, the coach to reporters Monday at the NFL's annual meeting.

Reid also said the Chiefs will continue to "surround" quarterback Patrick Mahomes with weapons in 2022 to fill the void Hill leaves in the offense. The Chiefs traded the All-Pro pass catcher to the Miami Dolphins last week in exchange for five draft picks.

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"There was no rift between Tyreek Hill and myself," Reid said at The Breakers in Palm Beach, Fla. "I thought he deserved an opportunity, if that's where he wanted to go. He's a family man with a few kids, and he's got to be able to support them now and down the road, and this gives him an opportunity to do that.

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"[The trade] put him a place where he has a home, and at the same time, it gave us great compensation."

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Reid said he "loves" Hill, who joined the Chiefs in 2016 and won a Super Bowl with the franchise in 2020. The Chiefs attempted to sign Hill to a contract extension, but traded the electric pass catcher when they could not agree to financial terms.

Hill then signed a four-year, $120 million extension with the Dolphins. That deal makes him the highest-paid wide receiver in NFL history.

"You can handle it any way you want to handle it," Reid said, when asked about the Chiefs' negotiations with Hill. "We handled it the way we did there. We felt like Tyreek deserved an opportunity.

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"We came in aggressive. Then, after we got to a point, we just said, 'Hey, listen, in this day and age, you have issues that you have to deal with with the [salary] cap.' So we felt like it was better to allow him to go ahead and be traded."

Reid said the Chiefs could have played "hardball" with Hill, since he still was under contract.

The Chiefs now sit with the fourth-most salary cap space in the NFL. Hill will count as a $6.4 million salary cap hit for the Dolphins, but that figure balloons to more than $31 million in 2023.

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Hill, 28, totaled 67 touchdowns in 91 games over his six seasons in Kansas City. He totaled 1,239 yards and nine scores on a career-high 111 catches in 17 games last season.

Hill led the NFL in yards per catch in two of the last four seasons and provided more explosion as a punt and kick returner.

The Chiefs face a tall task in the quest to replace one of the league's fastest players. They added depth to their receiver room earlier this month by signing JuJu Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling. They also could use an early pick in the 2022 NFL Draft to acquire another playmaker.

"Obviously, Patrick's a big part of that [staying competitive offensively]," Reid said of Mahomes. "You want to surround him with good players. ... Now you can see what we're doing here with the players we brought in, and we feel they're very good football players.

"So we'll see. The end result is going to be what takes place during the season, but [general manager] Brett Veach is building this thing back to where we feel comfortable that we can go win on Sundays."

The Chiefs had the third-best offense in the NFL last season in terms of yards. They also scored the fourth-most points and totaled the most first downs in the league. The Chiefs' passing offense ranked fourth in yards and sixth in touchdowns.

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The offense ranked inside the Top 6 in points scored and yards gained in each of the past five seasons.

The Chiefs will have the No. 29 and No. 30 picks in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft. Ohio State's Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave, USC's Drake London, Alabama's Jameson Williams, Arkansas' Treylon Burks and Penn State's Jahan Dotson are among the top wide receiver prospects in the class.

The 2022 NFL Draft runs from April 28 through 30 in Las Vegas.

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