Another suitor has emerged for DeAndre Hopkins. During an appearance on ESPN’s Get Up, Dianna Russini said the Patriots are among the teams interested in signing the wide receiver.
“There are several teams, including the New England Patriots, that are interested in DeAndre Hopkins,” Russini said (h/t to Mark Daniels of MassLive.com). “We’re going to see over the next few weeks Hopkins taking visits with different teams and then he’s going to make a decision with what’s best for him.”
There was some previous speculation that New England could be a wild-card landing spot for Hopkins. When the receiver was in Houston, there were whispers that he didn’t get along with head coach (and current Patriots offensive coordinator) Bill O’Brien. However, former Texans receivers coach John Perry told Daniels that he could easily envision the two teaming up again.
“I think adult relationships are always complicated no matter what you do. But the thing is when you look at DeAndre Hopkins and his relationship with Coach O’Brien, both of them brought out the best in each other,” Perry said.
Hopkins has reportedly been seeking a contract similar to that of Odell Beckham Jr.‘s one-year, $15MM pact with Baltimore. That asking price hasn’t driven teams away, but it’s led to suitors like the Bills being described as “long shots” in the sweepstakes. The Patriots, meanwhile, are currently armed with $14MM in cap space and could easily carve out the necessary room to sign the veteran receiver.
The Chiefs, Bills, and Giants were previously the only teams definitively connected to the free agent receiver. While there’s been plenty of speculation that Hopkins prefers a top-end contender like Kansas City or Buffalo, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler tweets that the wideout remains “open minded” about his next team. Fowler adds that the receiver intends to be patient, with minicamp considered a “soft deadline” and training camp considered the “harder deadline.”
Hopkins would be a natural fit in a questionable Patriots receivers room. New England watched Jakobi Meyers and Nelson Agholor leave via free agency, and they added JuJu Smith-Schuster to a depth chart that still includes DeVante Parker, Kendrick Bourne, and 2022 second-round pick Tyquan Thornton. Hopkins’ 79.7 yards-per-game easily outpaced all Patriots receivers in 2022, and while the wideout is entering his age-31 season, he’d still provide Mac Jones with a reliable target in what will be a crucial year for the quarterback.