Missing out on the Tyreek Hill was a blessing in disguise for the New York Jets’ culture
When Tyreek Hill chose the Miami Dolphins over the New York Jets, many Jets fans were chagrined. Having the dynamic receiver for Zach Wilson was tantalizingly close to happening, only to be snuffed out by a divisional foe.
When Hill’s trade and contract terms were announced, it became apparent that the Jets dodged a bullet. Miami mortgaged its future to acquire the speedy wideout, both in draft capital and salary cap space. With a roster full of holes, Joe Douglas could not afford to give up that kind of haul for a guy Hill’s age.
Still, there is an overlooked aspect of Hill that made him a curious fit for the Jets in the first place.
Robert Saleh has repeatedly stressed his desire to bring character to this team. While Hill has kept himself relatively clean on the football field (peace signs notwithstanding), he has done anything but off it. A guy who choked and beat his pregnant girlfriend and punched his three-year-old son is not the kind of character the Jets want. While there are always teams willing to take a shot on a talented but troubled player, Saleh and Douglas have made it clear that the Jets are not among them. So what were they doing with the pursuit of Hill?
Perhaps the allure of one of the best receivers in the league was just too much for Douglas to pass up. Perhaps the GM knew that he’d be eviscerated by the fan base if he did not attempt a trade. What was going through his mind regarding character concerns is anyone’s guess.
In hindsight, though, the Jets are better off without Hill. They went on to select three blue-chip, high-character prospects in the first round of the draft.
Sauce Gardner is confident, but he’s a team player and works harder than anyone else.
#Cincinnati CB Sauce Gardner says that he lives off of intrinsic motivation and the motto “unseen work in required hours”. Knows that he’s a “leader, competitive, and loves to get hands on wide receivers” pic.twitter.com/9aB693SQnU
— Jordan Reid (@Jordan_Reid) March 5, 2022
.@iamSauceGardner is the ultimate teammate.
He let his buddy return his interception on his youth football team. 🥺❤️
📺: #NFLCombine on @nflnetwork pic.twitter.com/CVnCh7KMrE
— NFL (@NFL) March 6, 2022
Garrett Wilson‘s broad smile when he was drafted by the Jets has reflected in everything he has said and done since.
Humble over hype.@GarrettWilson_V won't change. pic.twitter.com/sxDuwCEQAr
— New York Jets (@nyjets) May 4, 2022
The Jets passed on Kayvon Thibodeaux, about whom questions of effort persisted. Instead, they would later take Jermaine Johnson, who epitomizes Saleh’s “all gas, no brake” mantra.
Jermaine Johnson says Robert Saleh told him the Jets would come and get him at some point in the draft:
"He was like, 'I didn't lie, we came and got you. We've been trying to get you all night.' It was pretty awesome." pic.twitter.com/GfwYWPdyKI
— Jets Videos (@snyjets) April 29, 2022
Meanwhile, Hill adjusts to Miami by trying to defend his embattled quarterback, Tua Tagovailoa. While that is a noble sentiment, he has gone about it by taking shots at his old quarterback. Hill recently claimed on his new podcast that Tua is more accurate than Patrick Mahomes.
Tyreek Hill says that @Tua is a more accurate QB than @PatrickMahomes pic.twitter.com/LUbhp2n8YK
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) June 11, 2022
Aside from the foolishness of such comparisons, this is the antithesis of the character that the Jets sought. Imagine Hill defending Zach Wilson’s rookie season against Mahomes!
Douglas and Saleh have set the tone for this team. This is the Jets team of years past that was clean and easy to root for. This bunch is low on divas and high on team players. However the Jets’ season goes in 2022, it will be as a unit from the top down. The traits the Jets sought in their players will help them stay together through the highs and lows of a long season.
Hadn’t heard that Hill hit his 3-year old kid. Glad we dodged that bullet and got Garrett Wilson instead.
I should have used the word “allegedly,” since he was never charged in the case. https://www.sportingnews.com/us/nfl/news/tyreek-hill-domestic-violence-child-abuse-investigation/neqfn40200lt16ik2142ay772#:~:text=On%20July%2019%2C%20the%20NFL,matter%20to%20local%20law%20enforcement.
Rivka, I’m so happy I don’t have to root for this guy. If our receivers live up to their potential we’ll have an effective and exciting passing attack, players from our draft picks and cap room.
I think most fans would’ve embraced him wholeheartedly had he become a Jet, and many were disappointed when he chose Miami. Still, he would’ve been an odd fit considering their stated character goals, and some definitely would’ve felt as you do. I think most fans are excited to see the receiver room as it stacks up at the moment.
Hill is undeniably talented and reportedly a great locker room guy, but I never understood why the Jets were in on him. I’m glad he’s in Miami and look forward to seeing our secondary shut him down.
My take is that it was Woody getting impatient and trying to sell jersey’s (ala Tebow). Douglas said sure, then leaked the deal thru back channels and was “surprised” when a team swooped in. Never felt like a Douglas move to me, just keeping a meddling owner pacified.
It made sense that they were in on him in the sense that they needed a top receiver, but some of the other guys on the market were probably better fits on this team. I was surprised that Douglas was willing to give up so much for him and not, say, A.J. Brown, who is four years younger. Our secondary definitely has the potential to shut him down or at least keep him from doing too much damage.
I don’t disagree with the overarching theme of your article but I do think you may have a bit more conviction on some points than should be written about another person. I do think you are an excellent writer and enjoy your “takes” and passion.
Which points did you think were going too far? The main purpose of the article was to reflect back on Tyreek’s odd fit with the Jets to begin with and to show how it’s reinforced by his early behavior in Miami.