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Despite Congratulating Patrick Mahomes, Tyreek Hill Admits ‘Running Away’ to Escape Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl Win

Published 04/21/2024, 10:31 PM EDT

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Had Tyreek Hill stayed with the Chiefs, would he have more than one Super Bowl ring? It’s more than likely. So why did he leave? “Pat had Kelce, and I was kinda jealous. I was hurt,” Hill once joked. The wide receiver may have joked about the envy after joining the Dolphins, but when he had to watch his former team win another ring without him, it wasn’t a joke anymore…

Few can burn down defenses like Tyreek Hill, but even the “Cheetah” couldn’t outrun the emotional toll of leaving the Chiefs dynasty after the 2021 campaign. When he did that, the big question was, Will they be able to win the Super Bowl without Hill? Well, they did. For two seasons in a row, making it three rings in five years. And Hill missed out. In a revelation on Million Dollaz Worth of Game, he shared a personal play-by-play of his emotions during the Kansas City Chiefs’ Super Bowl victories after his departure. In a surprising twist, Tyreek Hill confessed to ‘running away’ from their Super Bowl celebration.

On being asked during the show if he ever pondered how his legacy would look a little greater right now with more trophies to show, Hill had a rather candid reply. “Yeah, part of me [believes it would’ve been].” He reflected on the podcast, “the first year they went, me and my wife took a trip to Tokyo. It was hard for me, you know? I had to get away from it all.”

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Hill mentioned having to watch his former squad hoist the Lombardi without him stung. His wife prescribed a far-east getaway to help Hill deal. “She’s like ‘Babe, let’s go to Tokyo, let’s get away from it.’” Yet, despite the distance, Hill didn’t drop the ball on camaraderie, congratulating the team. “When they won, I reached out to the guys and [said], ‘I’m happy for y’all, proud of y’all.’”

Once that initial Super Bowl hangover passed, Hill found himself back in the groove. He faced the game head-on, and his competitive spirit rekindled. “This year, when they won, I watched the whole game.” He told his teammates, “Y’all, we got to win this thing, you feel me?” Reflecting on how his emotions have been since, the wide receiver revealed, “I’m cool now. But the first year, it was kind of hard trying to get over that hump of seeing the guys do their thing.”

While there’s no denying that the Chiefs proved they can win Super Bowls without their star wide receiver, Hill’s contribution to KC can’t be understated. In his 6 seasons there, Hill’s best one came in 2018, when he had a target share of 25%, 111 receptions, and 1,479 receiving yards. But what’s interesting is he surpassed all those numbers in his first season with the Dolphins – 30% target share, 119 receptions, and 1,710 yards.

Highlighting just how much of a difference he made in Miami, ESPN reported that in 2022, the Dolphins offense leaped to 6th in the league in yardage, the first top-10 in the category since 1995. Here’s a comparison of some of Tyreek Hill’s stats with the Chiefs and the Dolphins.

CATEGORYCHIEFSDOLPHINS
Games9133
Air yards per target12.012.0
Target share21%32%
Receiving YPG72.9106.3
Receiving TDs5620

Despite the sideways smiles at Arrowhead for the Wild Card, Hill made crystal clear there’s nothing but love and respect for his ex-QB1. After all, Patrick Mahomes helped him become one of the greatest wide receivers in the league. In an episode of The Pivot podcast, Hill shared an anecdote about his time at the Chiefs when they were on a bad streak. And it was Mahomes who pushed everyone to find their lost form.

Explaining how Mahomes’ “supporting cast” was playing poorly, Hill said, “This dude called the whole offense up. He cussed all of us the f**k out. I really respect him because he individually pointed us out and said, ‘Tyreek, you think you’re so f**king fast, but you can’t catch the f**king ball. You want to be the best receiver in the game.’” The respect he formed for the quarterback back then is still prevalent.

The Miami Dolphins superstar was very vocal on social media during his former team’s AFC Championship victory over the Baltimore Ravens. He gave a shout-out to Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid on X. “15 and Andy know how to win games,” Hill said, referencing Mahomes’ jersey number.

Tyreek Hill’s tenure with the Kansas City Chiefs was nothing short of a highlight reel. Known as the “Cheetah” for his blistering speed, Hill was a game-changer. His synergy with Mahomes was the stuff of legends, racking up 331 catches for 4,638 yards and scoring 46 touchdowns in just 58 games together.

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Tyreek Hill’s bet on brand power

For all the DVR-spooling plays and cash, Tyreek Hill’s decision to leave Kansas City boiled down to one factor – establishing his enduring legacy, on and off the field. “It was a family decision, what’s gonna be the better long-term situation?” is how Hill framed the move to The Pivot podcast. While Hill scorches the NFL fields with his blistering pace, his brand presence in Miami, too, has taken a blistering pace upwards.

With brand icons like Mahomes and Travis Kelce already lapping the field in KC, Hill realized Miami was the optimal soil to plant his flag. “The brand space in KC is taken over already. Pat, Kelce, they own that,” he explained. “I was like, ‘Miami’s perfect. New community, get into that whole brand space if we start winning.’”

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Straight cash helped sway Hill’s choice, too – by getting traded to the Dolphins, he inked a record-shattering $120 million extension, resetting the receiver market. As Hill bluntly put it, “The money was good, but once they said ‘highest-paid’, I locked that in!”

Still, leaving the Chiefs family cut deep for a player who tasted Super Bowl glory with them. “It was tough leaving what we started in KC, how special it was,” Hill shared. But by prioritizing his long-term trajectory over immediate gratification, the human highlight reel is betting on himself to not just etch his name in the NFL record books but establish a legacy that transcends sport.

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Written by:

Sanu Abraham

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Sanu Abraham is an NFL writer at EssentiallySports. As a passionate football fan, he brings fresh perspectives and new ideas to the coverage of the sport and its many exciting personalities. He seeks to write lively and engaging articles that play to his expertise.
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Edited by:

Aazima Basharat