Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa divulged Thursday that he didn't believe the Dolphins had actually acquired wide receiver Tyreek Hill from the Kansas City Chiefs until receiving calls from his coaching staff.
Appearing on Hill's It Needed to Be Said show on YouTube, Tua gave some insight into his feelings and reaction when news of the Hill trade broke (beginning at the 19:30 mark):
"I heard about it and I didn't think it was real. Because I already kind of had the notion like, this guy is set in KC, he has a good relationship with all the guys there, he's been playing there for a while already, they all mesh well together.
"And then I get a call from the head coach, then I get a call from my quarterbacks coach, and it's the same thing. 'Yeah, hear the news?' I said, 'Wait, is this real?' They're like, 'Of course it's real, why would it be fake?'"
Miami officially acquired Hill from the Chiefs on March 23 for five draft picks, including first- and second-round picks in 2022. The Dolphins then made Hill the highest-paid wide receiver in the NFL when they signed him to a new contract.
After persistent rumors of the Dolphins trying to make a play for quarterback Deshaun Watson via a trade with the Houston Texans, they instead decided to stick with Tagovailoa and give him the best chance to succeed.
Miami hired former San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator Mike McDaniel as its new head coach and signed wide receiver Cedrick Wilson, as well as running backs Chase Edmonds, Sony Michel and Raheem Mostert, but the biggest helping hand to Tua was clearly the acquisition of Hill.
Hill has been a stud throughout his six-year NFL career, earning a Pro Bowl nod each time, along with three first-team All-Pro selections.
Along with tight end Travis Kelce, Hill was quarterback Patrick Mahomes' favorite target during his time in Kansas City, racking up 479 receptions for 6,630 yards and 56 touchdowns in six seasons.
Hill finished with an uncharacteristically low 11.2 yards per catch last season as opposing defenses focused on shutting down Kansas City's deep passing game, but he still recorded 1,239 yards and nine touchdowns, plus a career-high 111 receptions.
Kansas City was a perennial playoff team and Super Bowl contender during Hill's tenure, reaching the Super Bowl twice and winning it once.
Most would likely consider going from an NFL MVP quarterback in Mahomes to an unproven signal-caller in Tagovailoa a significant downgrade, but Hill isn't among them.
He has been nothing but complimentary of Tua since making the move to Miami, even calling him a more accurate passer than Mahomes.
Now, Tagovailoa simply has to prove it on the field, as the Dolphins have assembled one of the most talented rosters in the NFL around him.