Tyreek Hill’s defense of Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa continued this week as the receiver compared Tagovailoa to Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
Hill, who was traded from the Chiefs to the Dolphins in exchange for a plethora of draft picks this offseason, once again quashed concerns about Tagovailoa’s arm strength on the first episode of his new podcast, It Needed To Be Said. Hill even went so far as to say that Tagovailoa was a more accurate passer than Mahomes.
“I had a chance to see Tua throw the ball to me. He’s that guy, bro. A lot of people don’t know — I’m not just sitting here saying that because he’s my quarterback,” Hill said. “…He’s got a hell of a strong arm, he’s accurate, he can throw the deep ball and he actually goes through his reads.”
“Tua or Patrick Mahomes? Of course I’ll go [Mahomes] as the strongest arm,” Hill said. “But in terms of accuracy, I’ve been with Tua all day.”
Coincidentally, Mahomes and Tagovailoa’s career completion rates aren’t far apart. Mahomes completed 66.1% of his passes from 2017 to 2021 while Tagovailoa completed 66.2% since 2020. So technically, Tagovailoa is the more accurate passer. But Mahomes has 124 more passing touchdowns, 37 more wins, an MVP and a Super Bowl ring.
Hill also said he doesn’t want to play with a quarterback who just throws him a deep ball so he can go out and get it. He wants a quarterback that will hit him “right in the breadbasket” so he can move with the ball. Hill also said he’s added more routes to his game and can catch passes on short, medium, and deep passes.
These quotes from Hill are eerily reminiscent of what the Las Vegas Raiders new receiver Davante Adams said this week about Derek Carr. Adams claimed Carr and Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers was “really similar in talent and ability,” despite stats and personal awards that would say otherwise.
This isn’t the first time Hill has defended his new quarterback either. The latest Dolphins recipient tweeted a highlight montage of passes from Tagovailoa after another tweet about a bad Tagovailoa pass circulated on social media in mid-May.
What went wrong at KC?
Hill also spoke a lot about the departure of his Chiefs in his first episode. Though he said he enjoyed playing in Kansas City under Andy Reid and with Mahomes and Travis Kelce — who he claimed are the greatest bottlenecks of all time — Hill and his agent Drew Rosenhaus said they felt that the receiver will not be used properly by the Chiefs during the 2021 season.
“There were many times throughout the year when we felt that Tyreek was underutilized and not fully appreciated and that they really weren’t taking full advantage of his ability and talent,” Rosenhaus said on the podcast. “…Tyreek wanted to be in Kansas City and we tried to do an extension with them.”
The underutilization part is a bit misleading when looking at Hill’s 2021 production. Statistically, Hill did no better or worse in 2021 than any other season in which he played at least 12 games. Hill notched a career-high 111 receptions on a career-high 159 goals and surpassed 1,000 receiving yards for the fourth time since 2017. However, he ended 2021 with six touchdowns fewer than 2020.
Hill added that he once spoke with Reid and Mahomes for 30 minutes during the past offseason before Hill and Chiefs contract negotiations broke down. Hill said he doesn’t want to be the league’s highest-paid receiver, but he does want to be paid $25-$26 million.
“They won’t even give me [that]’ said Hill.
Eventually, Hill reached that $30 million mark after the Dolphins signed him to a four-year, $120 million extension with a $72 million post-trade guarantee. Now he just has to wait and see if all the positivity he’s been spreading throughout the offseason is real when the 2022 season kicks off in September.