Mike McDaniel was planning to take his first afternoon off since becoming the new head coach of the Miami Dolphins. McDaniel had surprised his wife by telling her he was already heading out the door and would be home to spend some quality time with her and the couple’s young daughter.
Things quickly changed, however, when Dolphins general manager Chris Grier came into McDaniel’s office to deliver news that the team had possible interest in Tyreek Hill, the six-time Pro Bowler and three-time All-Pro wideout with the Kansas City Chiefs.
“This is why I’m not a GM,” McDaniel said during an interview on “The Dan LeBatard Show with Stugotz.” “I’m like, ‘Tell them they can have everything.’ … I thought he was untouchable.”
An early day at the office turned into McDaniel spending the next five hours consuming footage of Hill, a member of the NFL‘s most recent All-Decade Team who in 2019 helped the Chiefs end their 50-year championship drought. McDaniel said he watched every pass that was thrown Hill’s way since the 2019 season. McDaniel, who eventually went home after getting himself out of the black hole of Hill’s tape, left the office needing, not wanting, the Dolphins to acquire Hill.
McDaniel and the Dolphins then went through the ups and downs that come with trying to acquire an elite player. At one point, Grier told McDaniel that things weren’t looking terribly good, as several other teams were also in play. At one point during the process, McDaniel began to go into recruiting mode, watching more tape in order to possibly convince Hill to choose the Dolphins.
Not too long later, McDaniel was handed the phone, with Hill on the other side of the call. McDaniels didn’t waste any time trying to convince Hill that Miami was the place where he needed to continue his career.
“I’m shooting every shot that I have,” McDaniel said. “Deep into it, and like 20 or 30 seconds of me not giving him an iota of time to speak, then all of sudden he said, ‘Oh coach, I’m coming.’ It was already done. I was like, ‘What!’ I just freaked out. I think I yelled. It was the only time I yelled in the office. It was a cool time, (but) I just would have liked a little forewarning before I just went straight recruit mode to seal the deal.”
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The Dolphins didn’t trade everything, but they did give up quite a bit to land the talented wideout. Miami ultimately acquired Hill after sending five draft picks to the Chiefs that included the 29th and 50th overall picks in the 2022 NFL Draft. The haul was more than worth it for McDaniel, who is chomping at the bit to roll out an offense this season that will feature Hill, quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, wideout Jaylen Waddle, tight end Mike Gesicki, and a stable of running backs that includes Chase Edmonds, Raheem Mostert, Sony Michel and Myles Gaskin,
“I quite honestly thought he was one of the untouchable guys that you couldn’t get,” McDaniel said. “When (Grier) comes in and tells me that the Chiefs have talked to him, I said, ‘Chris, that’s one of the only non-quarterbacks where you do whatever it takes.’”