KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Chiefs kept Patrick Mahomes in the loop last month as they attempted to trade wide receiver Tyreek Hill, letting their star quarterback know the team may soon be without one of the most prolific wide receivers of his era. But Mahomes said he was still stunned in the moments after Hill was traded to the Miami Dolphins.
“My initial reaction was a little bit of shock,” Mahomes said Monday as the Chiefs began their offseason program. “Even though you knew this was a possibility, [losing] a guy you had played with and built a friendship with over the last six years, it was definitely something you didn’t want him to leave more for being able to hang out in the locker room and do that stuff more than the actual on-the-field stuff. “But you’re happy for him. Obviously, he got a great contract (four-year, $120 million extension with $72.2 million guaranteed). He’s back where he has a house in the offseason around a lot of his family and stuff like that. I wish the best for him.”
The Chiefs still have tight end Travis Kelce, who was second on the team last season behind Hill in receptions and yards. They also have signed free-agent wide receivers JuJu Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling. Kansas City also could add a wide receiver or two in the upcoming draft. It has two picks in each of the first four rounds.
“We’ve just got to keep rolling,” Mahomes said. “That’s just how it is in this league. It’s a business as much as it is about friendships and stuff like that. We know in order to have success in this league we have to keep evolving and keep getting better. So I got with those new receivers as quickly as possible and tried to build that so we could have success when we get going this year.” Still, the void Hill leaves is significant. He caught 343 passes for 4,854 yards and 43 touchdowns in his four seasons with Mahomes.
“We’ll have to find production in different ways than we did last year because Tyreek was such a big part of our offense,” Mahomes said. “I think you’ve seen in games when we haven’t had Tyreek or we haven’t had certain people other guys have stepped up and made plays happen, and I expect that to happen this year, as well.”