It’s March, and it’s been madness in the NFL.
After a couple of weeks of star players changing teams, another could be on the horizon. According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero, Kansas City Chiefs speedster Tyreek Hill has been given permission to seek a trade after contract extension talks came to a standstill.
Click here for more PFF tools:
Hill diverged from his usual role as a deep threat in 2021 and instead served as a high-quality possession receiver for quarterback Patrick Mahomes, handling a high volume of targets and consistently moving the chains.
His 75 combined first downs and touchdowns tied for the third-most among wide receivers in the regular season, but his average depth of target did dip to 11.0 yards, his lowest since his rookie campaign.
Hill hauled in 74 passes that were thrown less than nine yards downfield, 22 more than in any other season of his career and the sixth-most among wide receivers.
The speedster is no longer just a deep threat, but that’s not to say he can’t go back to his old ways for whichever team needs him. He still leads all wide receivers since 2017 in deep receptions, yards and touchdowns by a substantial margin in all three.
NFL leaders in deep receiving since 2017
|No. 1||No. 2|
|Deep Receptions||Hill: 65||Lockett: 56|
|Deep Receiving Yards||Hill: 2,574||Lockett: 2,007|
|Deep TDs||Hill: 27||Lockett: 19|
Here are the top landing spots, headlined by the two teams that are being reported as finalists.
Hill and Jaylen Waddle would immediately form one of, if not the fastest wide receiver duos in the NFL.
Waddle was used as an underneath weapon in Miami and thrived in the role: After a slow start, the Alabama product was one of the 10 highest-graded wide receivers in the NFL from Week 6 on. His grade on targets thrown less than nine yards downfield ranked fifth-best in the 2021 regular season.
Waddle was barely used as a deep threat, but Hill could fill that void and allow Miami to keep Waddle — an after-the-catch nightmare — in a similar role to the one he played as a rookie.
It would be a partnership capable of stressing defenses to no end.
Quarterback Zach Wilson still has a lot to work on overall, so any trade that acquired Hill shouldn't be immediately seen as the catalyst for a Year 2 breakout. But, if the No. 2 overall pick can take the strides the Jets are hoping for, this is a game-changing addition, especially given the natural arm talent Wilson has to offer.
If any team is well-equipped to make this trade, it’s Philadelphia. The Eagles possess three first-round picks and can make this work within their current roster construct. Not to mention, the team hasn’t been quiet about their interest in adding another proven pass-catcher.
Considering the lack of success within the unit, this doesn’t come as a surprise. DeVonta Smith was the only Eagles receiver with a PFF grade above 70.0 in 2021. Jalen Reagor, a 2020 first-rounder, has failed to live up to expectations as a field-stretcher, as evidenced by his 55.1 PFF grade in 2021.
It’s hard to imagine Aaron Rodgers being able to perform at an MVP level for a third straight season with the current crop of wide receivers he currently has at his disposal.
His go-to, do-it-all receiver Davante Adams was traded to the Las Vegas Raiders, and deep-threat Marquez Valdes-Scantling is still on the open market. Giving Rodgers a weapon like Hill would help better the odds of the back-to-back MVP being able to sustain his elite level of production. After the Adams trade, the Packers have the ammo to make a move for Hill with multiple first-round picks.
The Colts may not have the 2022 draft capital of the other four teams on this list, but they likely wouldn’t shy away from surrendering future capital and current players to get a playmaker like Hill.
Indy is in contention mode after acquiring Matt Ryan from the Atlanta Falcons. The concern would be the decline in the passer’s arm as he approaches 37 years of age. But, again, Hill can be more than just a deep threat.
Last year’s Colts receiving unit ranked 23rd in receiving grade, and their current WR2 is currently 2019 undrafted free agent Ashton Dulin, who earned a 59.9 PFF grade in 2021. It is also important to note that general manager Chris Ballard did say at the NFL Scouting Combine that no player is untouchable in trades.