The Eli Apple-Tyreek Hill beef raised enough doubts about how the two might mesh that head coach Mike McDaniel called the receiver to see how he felt before the Miami Dolphins signed the veteran corner.
The Apple-Hill spat had gone on for a few years on social media. Notably, Hill said, "I owe you," to Apple last year before a Dolphins-Bengals Week 4 tilt last season.
Now that they're officially teammates, everything appears breezy. Apple said earlier this week it's "all love" between the two.
On Friday, it was Hill's turn to return to reverence.
'Well, when I heard about it, coach had called me," Hill said when asked for his reaction to Apple's signing. "He was like, 'Hey, Reek, we finna sign somebody.' I was like, 'Who y'all finna sign?' He was like, 'We finna sign Eli Apple.' I was like, 'Aight, cool.' He was like, 'You ain't got a problem with that?' I was like, 'Nah, I ain't got no problem with that. Why would I have a problem with that?' So I just feel like a lot of people, it just get fed into what's going on in social media, and that's not really what it is. I was fired up for us to be able to add another competitor to this team because that makes us better in the long run, having that cornerback depth. Eli, he's a great guy. I know we had some battles, but at the end of the day, man, we're all trying to win. We're all trying to get better."
What a good teammate. No bad blood. Moving onward and upward.
But Hill couldn't completely contain the high-road wheel, quipping at the end of his quote:
"And now, my looking from it is now I get to embarrass him every day," he said, chuckling.
Hill was clearly joking. Let's not make too much of the zinger. But it does play well in a headline.
As Apple noted earlier in the week, the two battling on the field can make the Dolphins better on game day. Having a locked-in Hill looking to torch his former nemesis during practices can help the competitive aspect, provided neither goes too far.
Apple won't fully replace Jalen Ramsey until the former All-Pro returns in December from knee surgery, but the Dolphins could do far worse than a veteran corner with 88 career starts, including postseason. In the meantime, practices in Miami might be a little more entertaining, even if Hill and Apple buried any hatchet.