Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes 'surprised' by Tyreek Hill's comments on recent podcast

Tyreek Hill's split from the Chiefs was about the money, and if you listened to Hill's recent podcast, it was also about his role in Kansas City.

This news caught his most important former teammate, Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, off guard.

"I'm surprised a little just because I feel like we love Tyreek here, we've always loved him," Mahomes explained Thursday. "We still love him. I saw him out at Formula 1 in Miami and everything like that, but I'm sure it kind of had to do with trying to get his podcast some stuff and get it rolling, but definitely, I still love Tyreek.

"He's a one-of-a-kind player, but as you know in coach (Andy) Reid's offense, it takes the whole team. I mean, the offense was rolling before I got here. His offense was rolling when I was a young Cowboys fan watching the Eagles beat up on the Cowboys, so it's an offense that's more than one player and that includes myself."

Mahomes included some appreciated humility in his response, but he's not wrong -- he's just not giving himself quite enough credit for being an uber-talented quarterback capable of elevating Reid's offense to new heights. An important part of that elevation was Hill, though, and with the speedy receiver now gone for Miami, it's fair to wonder whether the Chiefs can replicate their explosiveness in 2022.

Hill alluded to that on his "It Needed To Be Said" podcast. But Hill lost many of his listeners when he went a step further, claiming Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is a more accurate passer than Mahomes.

The two own nearly identical completion percentages for their careers, but Next Gen Stats' chief metric for evaluating passers -- Passing Score -- shows just how wide the gap is between the two quarterbacks. Mahomes posted a score of 95 in 2020 and 89 in 2021, while Tagovailoa finished with an 82 in 2021 and a 78 in 2020.

For reference, a passing score between 80 and 90 indicates a quarterback a team can win with or win in spite of, while another over 90 can roughly be considered elite. A score of 80 is essentially a quarterback's Mendoza Line, and those falling below it are typically young players acclimating to the league (like Tagovailoa was in 2020) or a replacement-level talent teams will look to upgrade from in the offseason.

We didn't need these metrics to explain the obvious: No one in their right mind is seriously comparing Mahomes and Tagovailoa, making Hill's claim rather outlandish. Mahomes didn't bite, and as he wisely said above, it's likely Hill made such a claim to get some traction for his new podcast -- and boost his new quarterback's confidence.

"I haven't talked to him since the podcast came out, but I talked to him at Formula 1 in Miami in May and everything seemed fine," Mahomes said. "It's something where I'm sure he's trying to show that he loves where he's at in Miami. He loves his teammates. But at the end of the day, it's just going out there and playing football. You kind of let other people talk about who's the best and all that different type of stuff. You just go out there and win football games at the end of the day."

Hill played a significant role in Kansas City's blossoming into an elite offense, and he won't be easy to replace. The Chiefs will attempt to do so with a collection of new receivers that includes JuJu Smith-Schuster, Marquez Valdes-Scantling and rookie Skyy Moore.

Despite Hill's comments, the Chiefs still appreciate Hill and what he did for the franchise. They're also not wasting much time stewing over his comments.

"I love Tyreek," Reid said. "He's a good kid. We think the world of him."

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