The Chiefs have had more than 48 hours since audio of Hill and fiancée Crystal Espinal discussing potential abuse of their 3-year-old son was released by KCTV in Kansas City. The Chiefs have barred Hill from offseason activities but have made no permanent decision about the status of their star wide receiver.
When the Chiefs released running back Kareem Hunt last year, the move happened on the same day video surfaced of the running back shoving and kicking a woman outside his Cleveland home.
“That goes back to the ongoing investigation with Tyreek and really our ability to get any information,” Hunt said Saturday in explaining the difference between the two situations. “That audio was really among the first information we had received on the investigation.”
The Chiefs drafted Hill in 2016 knowing he had pleaded guilty in Oklahoma to punching and choking his girlfriend, who was then pregnant. Team officials said after a backlash from fans that they had done their due diligence on Hill and that they wouldn’t draft someone they thought would commit more violent acts.
Asked whether any amount of due diligence could help predict a player’s behavior, Hunt said, “On every player you bring into the organization, there’s some element of risk. It could be his playing ability. It could be things that distract him while off the field as well as trouble they get into. That’s a risk you take. It’s something that as a franchise, we have to be willing to own when it doesn’t go the right way. That’s something I believe, and I know it’s something (general manager Brett Veach) believes as well.”
Despite having to release Kareem Hunt and suspend Hill, Clark Hunt said the Chiefs haven’t made changes to their process of vetting players. Hunt and Hill were drafted by former general manager John Dorsey, who was replaced by Veach two years ago.
“Certainly when you have a change in your general manager, that GM brings his philosophy,” Hunt said. “His staff brings their own perspective on how they do that.
“Every general manager has a feel for the type of guys they’re looking for … I know character is very important to Brett and something he spends a lot of time on.”
The Chiefs seem to be preparing for life without Hill. They traded up in the second round of the draft to make their initial selection of Georgia wide receiver Mecole Hardman, a fast wide receiver whose skills are similar to those of Hill.
Hunt said the Chiefs have no timetable for resolution.
“We were deeply disturbed by the audio … and that’s why he’s not with the organization at this point,” Hunt said. “We would expect that to be the case until we have a have to work our way through whatever information we’re able to get.
“There are a couple of ongoing investigations related to Tyreek, and we’re going to have to let that process play out.”