Miami Dolphins receiver Tyreek Hill believes he was underutilized by the Kansas City Chiefs and will be playing with a more accurate quarterback next season in Tua Tagovailoa.
Suffice to say those comments were eye-opening to Patrick Mahomes.
"I'm surprised a little just because I felt like we love Tyreek here. We’ve always loved him. We still love him," Mahomes told reporters Thursday. "I saw him out at Formula 1 in Miami and everything like that. But I'm sure it had something to do with trying to get his podcast some stuff, get it rolling. But definitely I still love Tyreek. He's a one-of-a-kind player.
"But as you know in coach Reid’s offense, it takes the whole team. This offense was rolling before I got here. This offense was rolling when I was a young Cowboys fan watching the Eagles beat up on the Cowboys. So I mean, it's an offense that's more than one player—and that includes myself."
The Chiefs traded Hill to the Dolphins this offseason, acquiring first- second- and fourth-round picks in 2022 and fourth- and sixth-round selections in 2023 in the process. Hill subsequently signed a four-year, $120 million extension in Miami.
Hill opened up on his frustrations with his usage in the Chiefs offense during the first episode of his new podcast. Speaking with his agent Drew Rosenhaus and co-host Julius Collins, Hill said his relationship with the Chiefs "fell apart" over his role.
"If teams are gonna give us favorable one-on-one matchups against their best corner, I don't see why teams don’t utilize their best receiver," Hill said. "And that's where probably the Chiefs and I fell apart right there. When I’m like, 'Yo, I don't mean to talk or be a diva in some situation but can I see the ball sometime, please? Just give me the ball, please.'"
Rosenhaus described Hill as a "trooper" and credited him with never airing out his anger in the media.
"There was a lot of times during the year that we felt that Tyreek was underutilized and wasn't fully appreciated," Rosenhaus said.
From a pure numbers standpoint, it's hard to see how Hill could feel underutilized. He set career highs in targets (159) and receptions (111) while making his sixth straight Pro Bowl. However, Hill was not selected as an All-Pro after being a first-team selection in 2021. The Chiefs also had fewer explosive plays as an offense, with Hill averaging 11.2 yards per reception—a full 3.5 yards worse than the year prior.
According to most observers, Hill's big-play numbers are likely to take another hit next season going from Mahomes to Tagovailoa. The Dolphins quarterback has taken criticism over his first two NFL seasons for a seeming unwillingness—and perhaps inability—to find receivers down the field.
Hill, without catching a single regular-season pass from Tagovailoa, said he believes the Alabama product is more accurate.
“Obviously, I’m going to go with 1-5 as the strongest arm, but as far as accuracy-wise, I’m going with Tua all day," Hill said.
As far as the numbers go in that respect, Tagovailoa's 67.8 percent completion rate last season is higher than any individual Mahomes season. That said, Mahomes is a career 66.1 percent passer on attempts with a higher degree of difficulty and has a lower interception rate.