Jets were ‘almost a done deal’ before Dolphins

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Tyreek Hill made headlines with his quip about the Jets on Thursday, but his agent revealed how close Hill came to coming to New York.

Hill held his introductory press conference with the Dolphins on Thursday, a day after Miami landed him in a blockbuster trade from the Chiefs. The Jets were the runners-up in the Hill sweepstakes, but Hill made it sound like the Jets were solely used to leverage the Dolphins.

“How close was I? Who? The Jets?” Hill asked. “I knew I was going to pick Miami no matter what because I’m basically from here, I’m here all the time. This is home for me, for us.”

It made for a good headline and memorable quote, as Hill took a shot at the downtrodden Jets. But his agent Drew Rosenhaus revealed exactly how the trade went down in a session with South Florida reporters after the press conference.

“There was a time when we were talking to [the Jets] — it was almost a done deal,” Rosenhaus said, according to profootballnetwork.com. “So the Dolphins got in in the nick of time there to get this done, and I give them a lot of credit because a lot goes into this type of contract.”

Tyreek Hill speaks with the media after being introduced by the Miami Dolphins.
Getty Images

Rosenhaus said the seeds were planted for the trade on March 17 when the Packers traded Davante Adams to the Raiders and Las Vegas gave him a five-year, $140 million contract.

Hill had one year left on his contract with the Chiefs, and Rosenhaus saw an opening.

“Right after the Davante Adams deal, I called and spoke to [Chiefs GM] Brett Veach,” Rosenhaus said. “I told Brett that I thought that the market was set for Tyreek. We had started negotiating. I said, ‘Brett, Tyreek’s been a great player for you. He’s got one year left on his deal. If we can’t cut to the chase and get a deal that’s similar to Adams, how would you feel about working on a trade so you can get something instead of him just playing out his contract and leaving?’

“I guess they thought it over, and they gave me a call back and said, ‘What do you think you could get for Tyreek?’ ” Rosenhaus continued. “I told them I think I can get them a lot. More than Adams. He said, ‘If you feel that confident, that we can get that much, I’ll give you permission to talk to all [31] teams.’ I was able to talk to all [31] clubs.”

There were 12 teams that showed significant interest, according to Rosenhaus. But the Jets quickly emerged with a strong offer both in trade compensation to the Chiefs and in a new contract for Hill. Most teams dropped out once the Jets came in with their offer.

The Jets offered two second-round picks and a third-rounder to the Chiefs for Hill and a fourth-round pick, according to a source. They were also prepared to give Hill a contract in the same neighborhood as the four-year, $120 million contract the Dolphins gave him.

“I wasn’t allowed to negotiate with teams on a contract until they had reached an agreement,” Rosenhaus added. “So they first reached an agreement on a trade with the Jets. We started negotiating with the Jets. And Tyreek gave it serious consideration. I let the other teams know that we were close to getting a deal done with the Jets.

“That’s when the Dolphins worked out the trade with the Chiefs. And then we started negotiating with the Dolphins. … We pretty much negotiated overnight with them, which would have been Tuesday night. And then [Wednesday] … we got the deal done.”

The Dolphins traded a package of five draft picks to the Chiefs, including a first-rounder.

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