Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes appears to be making the rounds in the offseason this week, stopping first Yahoo! Finance to discuss the changed overtime rule and Tom Brady coming out of retirement.
Friday, Sports Illustrated Albert Breer dropped a column on Mahomes after speaking one-on-one with him via Zoom, and inside were the quarterback’s first words on the hit trade that sent Tyreek Hill to the Dolphins from Miami in exchange for five draft picks over the next two years.
“It surprised me even more every time we got to the point where we were really considering trading him,” Mahomes told Breer. “They kept me updated all the time; I knew the extension talks were underway. And then I found out when he got permission to seek a trade. But I mean, still, I’ve played my entire career with Tyreek, so definitely there was a bit of a shock when he got traded.
“At the same time, they kept me involved in the whole process, and I know we made a huge effort to try to keep him in Kansas City. Tyreek, he’s such a great player, he got what “He deserved. I’m happy for him. And he’s in a place where he has a home and he’s closer to his family and stuff. So I’m very happy for him. We had to move on.”
From 2016 to 2021, Chiefs fans watched Hill go from a return specialist and gimmicky weapon to one of the NFL’s best receivers. Hill’s first two seasons came with Alex Smith at the helm. With Mahomes as a starter from 2018-21, he compiled over 5,000 scrimmage yards and 46 total touchdowns.
So it only made sense that general manager Brett Veach and head coach Andy Reid kept Mahomes in the loop when it came to such a significant change in offense. Perhaps a bit more telling is that the quarterback told Breer that has been the case since his first year as a starter on the team in 2018.
“I’ve been involved pretty much my whole career (as a starter),” Mahomes said. “I mean, I remember when we signed Sammy Watkins. I’m not saying who we need to sign and who we don’t need to sign and all these different types of things. But they’ve let me know what they think and why they think it, and I think that’s why the relationship that we have in Kansas City is so good with Coach Reid and Veach and everybody, that’s that they keep everyone informed of where we are going and what the vision is for the future.
As has been pointed out in these pages, although Hill will be difficult to replace, he Is offer the Chiefs a silver lining in the fact that much of the offensive streak from previous seasons will prove useless as the Chiefs prepare for 2022.
While in recent years opposing defenses knew they would have to prepare for two star players – Hill and tight end Travis Kelce – this year’s offense plans to be a much more balanced offense. Mahomes seems to like this idea.
“I think it will be something that will help me a lot next year because in addition to having this guy that we had with Tyreek who is so dynamic, who can even if he is at double cover move the things, I’ll be able to spread the ball more this year and let those other guys make plays… I think that will help our offense in a way that they can’t just focus on Travis and Tyreek, Travis and Tyreek.
New wide receivers include wide receivers JuJu Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdez-Scantling, who said Mahomes was the first person to call when he learned he was just visiting Kansas City. The two planned to throw themselves together at Texas State, where he is spending his offseasons.
“I actually have a lot of guys coming in at the end of this week and we’re going to continue the rest of the offseason and OTAs,” Mahomes said. “We will be together and work. We have a brand new reception hall, so I’m going to bring these guys together as much as possible just to build these relationships, as much as I am to work with them. So I think by the time we get to the season we’ll have a tight-knit group with a lot of great playmakers.”
Now a sixth-year veteran (where did the time go?), Mahomes knows building a rapport with his new weapons will be key to the Chiefs’ success in 2022, and he’s rightfully getting a head start. September will be here before we know it.
Read Breer’s full article in which Mahomes discusses the offensive line and more about his offseason by clicking here.