Former Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith recently appeared on the Rich Eisen Show to discuss a myriad of different topics, but the two couldn’t help but touch on the recent trade news that came out of Kansas City.
Smith, a former #1 overall draft pick, 3-time Pro Bowler, and 2020 NFL Comeback Player of the year, played with all-pro wide receiver Tyreek Hill in Kansas City for two seasons, including Hill’s rookie season in 2016.
Smith, well-respected within the organization and league-wide, had nothing but good things to say about Tyreek Hill. Additionally, he seemed to express his concern about the trade by the way he complimented what Hill brings to any offense.
Smith told Eisen, “flat out, you’re not going to replace him. There is literally only one Tyreek Hill in the whole NFL. He is that kind of difference-maker… “Honestly, when he’s on the field, the defense plays differently; he opens up so many other players around him because everyone is so fearful.”
This is strong praise from Smith, who ended his career with an 86.9 passer rating and 199 touchdown passes. Clearly, Smith recognizes that the Chiefs gave up a generational talent and stud wide receiver. Smith went on to articulate how the loss of Hill may impact the Chiefs this season and beyond.
“I do think they won’t be as dynamic on offense. This is the trade-off that I think Andy is thinking about and Brett Veach,” Smith said. “For the salary that they were potentially going to get him and the draft picks that they got in return, can they go be better on the defensive side of the ball.”
Like many others, Smith believed that the potential to receive draft capital in return was too enticing for Andy Reid, management, and the Chiefs to pass up.
The Dolphins sent 5 draft picks to the Chiefs in exchange for Hill.
“This has kind of been Andy’s M.O. his entire coaching career,” Smith said. “Rather than let you play out your contract and walk away for nothing, he’s certainly going to try and get value for you while he can. I was even a product of that.”
However, the Chiefs were able to add veteran wideout Ju-Ju Smith-Schuster, which should help fill some of the void left by Hill, and Travis Kelce is still one of the NFL’s top 5 tight ends.
Despite the concern expressed by Alex Smith and others around the league, oddsmakers and experts still have the Chiefs in the mix for another run at the Super Bowl. Online sportsbooks such as FanDuel and DraftKings have the Chiefs at +950 – $1000 to win the Super Bowl next season. Behind only Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Buffalo Bills.
Although fans in Missouri and Kansas aren’t able to bet legally on the Chiefs yet, there is a chance that sports fans could see apps like FanDuel and BetMGM Kansas launch in time for the Super Bowl if current attempts to legalize betting pass.
Like Smith told Eisen, the Chiefs cannot replace Hill. But, at the end of the day, Patrick Mahomes is still in his prime, and that alone should give fans hope that the team can adapt and maintain the level of play they’ve shown the past few seasons.
Featured Image: Miami Dolphins