Tyreek Hill-Patrick: An NFL rivalry no one saw coming

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Martin Rogers wrote this article.

Columnist for FOX Sports

The NFL’s strangest new rivalry has arrived, and it’s tough to tell whether it’s a rivalry at all, or just a dispute, troll job, or a way to boost podcast ratings.

Tyreek Hill’s rhetorical barbs at the Kansas City Chiefs and Patrick Mahomes — his old team and former quarterback, respectively – came as a complete surprise and are pretty odd.

Yes, it’s pretty cool.

This is the feud we never saw coming, which makes it the perfect time-ticking fodder for this largely empty pocket of the year, when football happened long enough ago that the details of even the most recent campaign are a little hazy, and the new season is far enough away to not truly feel real yet.

Hill is going for broke, cramming a growing series of jabs at the place where he made his reputation and the quarterback who threw all those passes in his direction into the usually slow summer news cycle.

His retorts are numerous and varied, but they are all incisive and without ambiguity. Hill attacked the way he was used in Kansas City on his new “It Needed To Be Said” podcast, claiming that the Chiefs will struggle without him now that he has been traded to the Miami Dolphins.

Furthermore, in a comment most NFL observers have scoffed at, he claimed Dolphins third-year QB Tua Tagovailoa is a more accurate passer than Mahomes — the same Mahomes with a Super Bowl ring and four straight AFC Championship appearances.

Hill stated, “Obviously, I’m going to go with 15 as the strongest arm.” “However, in terms of accuracy, I’m going with Tua all day.”

Deshaun Watson, Tyreek Hill lead NFL’s Top Difference Makers list I SPEAK FOR YOURSELF The NFL offseason has seen movement like no other. Deshaun Watson moved from the Houston Texans to the Cleveland Browns and Tyreek Hill moved from Super Bowl winning QB Patrick Mahomes to Tua and the Miami Dolphins.

Football is not a polite game and wouldn’t be nearly as popular if it was. Competitive banter is all part of the deal. Show me a fan who says they don’t enjoy that side of it on some level and I might show you someone being economical with the truth.

But the Hill & Friends Show (now former friends, presumably) doesn’t fit the typical mold of such things. From the outside, there wasn’t any lingering hostility.

Mahomes and Hill were a dynamic combination who gave every appearance of fully appreciating the other’s excellence. Hill racked up 4,854 yards over the past four seasons, with 43 touchdowns. There were times when his darting footwork made him darn near impossible to tackle effectively.

He was part of that unforgettable 13-second comeback against the Buffalo Bills and seemed to be an integral piece of the Chiefs fabric. And when it comes to Mahomes you don’t usually identify the respectful young face of the NFL as an obvious target for someone’s dissing ire.

Even Mahomes seems a little perplexed by it.

“I talked to him at Formula One in Miami in May and everything seemed fine,” Mahomes told reporters. “I’m sure that he’s trying to show he loves where he’s at in Miami and he loves his teammates. The thing I loved about Tyreek — and I still love — is he wants to win.”

Part of Hill’s frustration was about his usage, which he felt should have been greater. However, the Chiefs’ view is that head coach Andy Reid, offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy and Mahomes simply had to look at other options, such as the level of cover Hill was attracting.

The resulting transaction was a blockbuster trade backed with a package of draft picks, and a whopper of a contract that will pay the wide receiver a position-leading $120 million over four years.

So where does this thing go next? It looked like nowhere for a short while. There isn’t much outlet for an ongoing squabble it seemed, with the Dolphins and Chiefs not due to meet in the regular season until 2023 and the only possibility of a face-off coming in the AFC playoff bracket, which the Dolphins haven’t been part of for six years.

But then Hill got into it with former Pittsburgh Steelers safety Ryan Clark, who accused him of, er, being economical with the truth regarding his Mahomes comments, and here we are now, with something that’s now taken enough of our time that it will be watched and monitored in the months to come.

Hill is irked and that reality doesn’t figure to find a resolution any time soon. Expect more chit-chat from him. Sooner or later, the Chiefs might get sick of it and bite back with something a little spicy. Goodness, let’s hope so. The summer heat is just another reminder that gridiron Sundays are still months away.

The Hill-Mahomes/Chiefs soap opera is the silly rivalry we need. Peculiar enough to have us scratching our heads, intriguing enough to be more than fleeting. And contrary enough to help us remember that the NFL is built on fire and ego, which only adds to it all.

Martin Rogers is a columnist for FOX Sports and the author of the FOX Sports Insider newsletter. You can subscribe to the daily newsletter here .

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