DeAndre Hopkins said earlier this offseason he had hired an agent, but it does not appear the former Texans and Cardinals wide receiver made that official until Tuesday.
The veteran is now with Klutch Sports, per NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport, who notes Hopkins will be repped by Kelton Crenshaw (Twitter link). DeVonta Smith, Kayvon Thibodeaux and Chase Young are also aligned with Klutch and Crenshaw. Hopkins had represented himself in the past — including when he signed the two-year, $54.5MM Cardinals extension in 2020 — but as the soon-to-be 31-year-old pass catcher transitions to free agency, he will have representation.
Hopkins had been using financial advisor Saint Omni as his de facto representative, SI.com’s Albert Breer notes, while Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio adds teams were shying away from email communication with the accomplished wideout due to concerns they would be emailing a non-certified agent. That issue will be in the past now, with Hopkins aligned with LeBron James’ Klutch.
As for Hopkins’ potential destination, familiar teams continue to circle. Bills and Chiefs interest remains, according to ESPN.com’s Jeremy Fowler. During a recent ESPN appearance with Harry Douglas and Jason Fitz, Fowler said he would bet on Hopkins ending up in Buffalo or Kansas City (video link).
Both AFC powerhouses sit at the bottom of the league in terms of cap space. Buffalo holds $1.47MM; Kansas City sits at barely $600K. Hopkins is not looking to take much of a discount, especially considering what Odell Beckham Jr. received from the Ravens. OBJ signed for $15MM guaranteed, and incentives can take the 30-year-old wideout’s payout to $18MM. Hopkins remains unlikely to secure Beckham-level cash at this offseason juncture, and the Chiefs and Bills — during trade talks with the Cardinals — balked at taking on his previous contract. With that contract in the past, more flexibility exists now.
Rumored to be interested in Hopkins back in March, the Chiefs had made progress on a trade with the Cardinals, per Breer. OBJ’s deal scuttled those talks. While Hopkins lobbied the Cardinals to eat some of his contract to facilitate a trade, but the lack of worthwhile trade compensation did not compel Arizona to do so.
Hopkins will probably have to reveal some wiggle room as well, if he wants to end up with either of the two teams he has frequently mentioned as appealing destinations. Other teams still view the Bills as a threat to add Hopkins, per Fowler, who also notes the Chiefs’ belief in Kadarius Toney, despite his concerning injury past, also could impede a Hopkins addition. Kansas City also chose SMU’s Rashee Rice in Round 2. The Bills did not draft a receiver until Round 5 (Florida’s Justin Shorter), but they are planning to use first-round tight end Dalton Kincaid as a slot player frequently.
Although the Ravens signed Beckham and now have Zay Flowers in the fold, Lamar Jackson approached team brass about the potential for adding Hopkins weeks ago. With Jackson’s cap hit dropping from $32.4MM to $22.15MM this year, thanks to his record-setting extension removing the franchise tag from the equation, Baltimore has more than $11MM in cap space. The Ravens did Hopkins homework earlier this year, per The Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec (subscription required), and also discussed Courtland Sutton with the Broncos. But they are not believed to have entered serious trade talks with the Cardinals.
The Browns continue to be loosely connected to Hopkins, with Fowler noting the team will likely at least make a call on the 10-year veteran. Klutch is also a Cleveland-based agency that represents several Browns players. No other agency represents more Browns than Klutch, per the Cleveland Plain Dealer’s Mary Kay Cabot.
Hopkins played three seasons with Deshaun Watson in Houston and remains close with the second-year Cleveland quarterback. Watson said Tuesday (via Cabot), “Of course, we’d love to have him.” Thanks to designating John Johnson as a post-June 1 cut, the Browns will hold more than $16MM in cap space later this week. That said, Kevin Stefanski has praised the Browns’ current receiving corps and expressed confidence in the group as is. The Browns have Amari Cooper, Donovan Peoples-Jones, Elijah Moore and three recent third-round picks — Cedric Tillman, David Bell, Anthony Schwartz — on their roster.
The Jets pursued Beckham and had set up a visit, but they backed out of the race when the Ravens’ guarantee figure surfaced. The Cowboys also looked into the former All-Pro via trade. New York has since added Randall Cobb, while Dallas traded for Brandin Cooks. These two could loom on the fringes here as well, but Hopkins continues to be tied more closely to the Chiefs and Bills.