DeAndre Hopkins

Titans Listening To Offers On Contract-Year Players; Ravens Still In On Derrick Henry?

The Titans’ chances of trading Derrick Henry took a major hit today. As ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweets, the deadline passed for the running back to restructure his contract ahead of tomorrow’s trade deadline. As a result, any suitor would have to take on the remaining $5.5MM on Henry’s deal, leading one source to tell Schefter that they don’t “think a trade’s going to happen.”

[RELATED: Latest On Titans, Derrick Henry]

While Tennessee’s inability to reduce Henry’s cap hit will surely impact their ability to trade the star running back, Tony Pauline of writes that teams remain in the hunt, including a pair of previously-reported suitors. Per Pauline, the Ravens are still the “leaders in the clubhouse,” while the Cowboys linger as a “dark horse.”

While both Baltimore and Dallas would be happy to add Henry to their running back corps, compensation remains a main sticking point, according to Pauline. The reporter believes the Titans couldn’t do better than a fourth-round pick, and Pauline opines that Tennessee’s ownership would never approve such a deal. So, if there’s any hope that Henry gets traded before tomorrow’s deadline, it’s going to require one of the Titans or a potential suitor to blink.

While much of the attention in Tennessee has been focused on Henry, there are a handful of additional trade candidates on the Titans roster. Albert Breer of says defensive linemen Teair Tart and Denico Autry are “the more likely candidates to be moved” before tomorrow’s deadline, with the reporter also noting the smoke surrounding DeAndre Hopkins.

Tart has spent his entire four-year career in Tennessee, going from UDFA to full-time starter. After starting all 16 of his appearances in 2022 , he’s started four of his five games this year, collecting 11 tackles, three tackles for loss, and three QB hits. Autry signed a three-year, $21.5MM deal with the Titans in 2021 and has started 25 of his 36 appearances for the organization, including six starts this season.

Latest On Titans, Derrick Henry

Derrick Henry is one of many high-profile names which has been included in trade talk ahead of the upcoming deadline. For the time being, though, it appears likely the Titans’ All-Pro back will remain in place.

While the Titans are still open to the notion of moving the two-time rushing champion, they have informed Henry of their intention to retain him, reports ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Henry has been floated as a trade candidate given his status as a pending free agent and the Titans’ status as expected sellers in the coming days (as forecasted by the Kevin Byard trade).

Dianna Russini of The Athletic confirms (subscription required) that Tennessee – now led by general manager Ran Carthon – would only give serious consideration to a Henry trade in the event of an “exceptional offer” being made. Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero of stop short of saying that it will take an “exceptional offer” to land Henry, though they do confirm that an interested team will need to pony up more than the mid-round pick it would normally cost to acquire a star player on an expiring, above-minimum contract at the deadline. While teams have called about the Titans’ trade chips (a group which includes, but is not limited to, the three-time Pro Bowler), both the ESPN and Athletic reports state the Cowboys have not made an offer for him.

Dallas – along with Baltimore – was named as an interested party for Henry earlier this week. The former Offensive Player of the Year would give both the Cowboys and Ravens a considerable boost in the ground game, but a deal involving either team (or, in all likelihood, any other one) would depend on the Titans’ willingness to eat some of Henry’s remaining salary. The final year of his pact carries a $10.5MM salary, but his new club would be responsible for roughly half that amount if a trade were to be worked out.

Today’s updates come after a report emerged at the beginning of the week stating the Titans were not willing to consider 2023 a write-off and actively look to move players like Henry and wideout DeAndre Hopkins (in part due to the lack of healthy market for either veteran). Indeed, Russini notes that both Henry and Hopkins are on track to remain in Nashville through the October 31 deadline.

The former has an underwhelming 4.3 yards per carry average in 2023, though the Titans’ O-line and the rest of its offense has underperformed to date. Nearing his 30th birthday, however, Henry is in serious danger of seeing his free agent value take a signficant step back given the nature of the RB market as a whole. A move to a contending team could boost his prospects in free agency, but it would come as a surprise at this point if one were to materialize.

Titans Unlikely To Trade Derrick Henry, DeAndre Hopkins

The Titans are currently 2-4 and may be without starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill for their last contest before the October 31 trade deadline (they have a bye this week and face the Falcons on October 29). They clearly profile as potential deadline sellers, but head coach Mike Vrabel is not throwing in the towel on the 2023 season, per Charles Robinson of Yahoo! Sports.

As such, Tennessee is not motivated to trade star running back Derrick Henry, as Robinson reports. While there is obvious concern about how many carries Henry has accumulated over the past few years, the two-time rushing leader has trade value. He still has some burst and is maintaing a solid 4.3 yards-per-carry average this season, and it is fair to expect that he will remain productive for the rest of the campaign.

Dianna Russini of The Athletic, though, has not found a team with much interest in Henry (subscription required). Perhaps that is because of his high usage rate and the fact that he is less than three months away from his 30th birthday, or perhaps it is simply because rival execs do not believe the Titans will seriously consider trading the longtime focal point of their offense. In any event, it presently appears likely that Henry will stay in Nashville through at least the end of the current season.

Likewise, it seems that wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins will stay put. Robinson has spoken to a few receiver-needy clubs, and he does not get the sense that Tennessee will be able to get much of a return in a Hopkins trade. The three-time First Team All-Pro made plenty of PFR headlines during his free agency stint this year, though he later conceded that his market did not develop as he expected after he was released by the Cardinals in May. He ultimately joined the Titans on a two-year, $26MM deal, and it does not sound as if other clubs are anxious to take on the balance of that contract. Through six games in 2023, Hopkins has 27 catches on 47 targets for 376 yards. He has yet to find the endzone.

As opposed to his veteran teammates on the offensive side of the ball, safety Kevin Byard is receiving trade interest, per Russini. However, Robinson does not believe Byard would fetch anything more than a late-round pick, and assuming that’s the case, the Titans would be better served by keeping him in the fold.

Wideout Treylon Burks, a 2022 first-round pick who was supposed to help replace A.J. Brown‘s production, has also been the subject of trade inquiries, as Russini writes. Unsurprisingly, the Titans are not inclined to move any young player, let alone a player who was taken on Day 1 of the draft just one year ago.

DeAndre Hopkins Discusses Free Agency, Contract Demands, Signing With Titans

When DeAndre Hopkins was cut by the Cardinals, a number of suitors were expected to emerge. Instead, the veteran wideout only drew serious interest from the Titans and Patriots, with Hopkins ultimately signing a two-year, $26MM with Tennessee.

[RELATED: Titans Sign DeAndre Hopkins]

In a conversation with Clay Skipper of GQ, Hopkins acknowledged that his free agent market didn’t shake out as expected, with the receiver admitting that “there were some teams that I had on my list that I gave them calls and they didn’t give a call back.” What specific teams spurned the veteran?

“Detroit Lions, they didn’t want me,” Hopkins said. “Dallas Cowboys didn’t want me. Giants didn’t want me. S***. Who else ain’t want me? San Fran ain’t want me.”

Besides the Titans and Patriots, the only teams that were definitively connected to Hopkins were the Bills and Chiefs, although it sounds like interest dropped from those potential suitors once they learned of the receiver’s asking price. Still, Hopkins told Skipper that both Buffalo and Kansas City did call when he hit free agency.

The Lions, Cowboys, Giants, and 49ers also may have been wary of the player’s financial demands, but Hopkins hinted that those organization may have passed him over because of his age. Still, the receiver did acknowledge that money partly played a role in him landing in Tennessee.

“You have to know your value and have some level of respect for who you are as a human being,” he says. “Is the possibility of you going somewhere who is a Super Bowl-caliber team, on paper, is that worth you being paid minimum? It doesn’t add up.”

The Cowboys and 49ers have deep receiver crews, so it’s not a huge surprise that those squads didn’t give a long look at Hopkins. The Lions could use a wideout behind Amon-Ra St. Brown, while the Giants don’t have a clear WR1 atop their depth chart.

Ultimately, Hopkins landed in Tennessee, where he’ll join a depth chart highlighted by 2022 first-round pick Treylon Burks. Hopkins gave several reasons why he landed with the Titans, including head coach Mike Vrabel. However, the wideout revealed that one of his main reasons for signing with the organization had to do with the culture.

“I wouldn’t say it’s because of Arizona, the reason I came here, to have that 360 switch, but I would say it was definitely part of my decision to be somewhere that did have a winning culture, or a fighting culture,” Hopkins said.

AFC South Notes: Titans, Colts, Ryans, Jags

The max-value figure in DeAndre HopkinsTitans deal emerged when he committed to the team, but guarantee numbers had been elusive. No longer, as the Boston Globe’s Ben Volin details Tennessee’s true commitment to its new WR1. The two-year, $26MM pact contains $10.98MM guaranteed at signing (Twitter link). The Chiefs and Patriots preferred incentive-laden contracts that did not come especially close to the guarantee figure the Titans authorized.

The contract also includes three void years. The void numbers allowed the Titans to keep Hopkins’ 2023 cap number low ($3.67MM), and the team can move on — via a post-June 1 cut designation — in 2024 fairly easily. Tennessee could create $14MM in 2024 cap space by using the June 1 mechanism, as it did with Julio Jones last year, should this fit not work out. This decision will likely come in March, as OverTheCap notes Hopkins is due a $4.06MM bonus if on the Titans’ roster by Day 5 of the 2024 league year. That setup stands to prevent Hopkins from another summer free agency stay.

Here is the latest from the AFC South:

  • Careful not to divulge too much about the Colts’ QB plan, Shane Steichen confirmed Gardner Minshew and Anthony Richardson would rotate with the first team during training camp. Minshew began that rotation as the first-teamer to start camp, Mike Chappell of Fox 59 notes. Although Richardson did not gain much seasoning as a Florida starter and is considered a rawer prospect than Bryce Young or C.J. Stroud, his draft slot points to extensive rookie-year work. Jim Irsay confirmed as much earlier this month, indicating Richardson needs to play early. Minshew, who worked with Steichen in Philadelphia, signed a one-year, $3.5MM deal in March.
  • DeMeco Ryans will not work as a CEO-type coach with the Texans, with’s James Palmer noting he will call the team’s defensive plays this season (Twitter link). The former Houston linebacker called San Francisco’s defensive plays from 2021-22, becoming a hot HC candidate after the 49ers’ defense ranked first across the board last season. Matt Burke will serve as a non-play-calling Texans DC.
  • Both Joey Porter Jr. and Will Levis were in the mix for fully guaranteed rookie contracts, but neither received such terms. Levis did fare better than last year’s No. 33 overall pick, however, with KPRC2’s Aaron Wilson noting the Titans QB’s four-year deal is 91.5% guaranteed. That is up from the $80.4% guarantee last year’s No. 33 choice (Buccaneers D-lineman Logan Hall) received on his rookie deal. Levis also secured training camp roster bonuses totaling $1.76MM from 2023-26. Those figures are fully guaranteed through 2025, Pro Football Focus’ Brad Spielberger tweets.
  • The Titans’ first-rounder, Peter Skoronski, spent time at guard and tackle during the team’s offseason program. But Mike Vrabel provided some clarity about the No. 11 overall pick’s NFL path. The college tackle is working as a guard right now. Considering the Titans brought in tackles George Fant and Chris Hubbard on visits last week and have Nicholas Petit-Frere set to return to his right tackle post once his six-game gambling suspension ends, it makes sense the Titans would keep Skoronski at guard. Neither Fant nor Hubbard have signed with the team.
  • Evan Engram‘s three-year, $41.25MM Jaguars extension includes three void years, with Wilson noting (via Twitter) the deal will void 23 days before the 2026 league year. Pro Bowl incentives — worth $250K per year — are also present in the tight end’s contract.
  • Veteran tight end Luke Stocker‘s playing career wrapped after 11 seasons (2011-21), and Vrabel said during a recent appearance on Taylor Lewan and Will Compton‘s Bussin’ With the Boys podcast that he is part of the Titans’ coaching staff. Stocker, 35, was with the Titans from 2017-18, overlapping with Vrabel during the latter season. He also played with the Bucs, Falcons and Vikings.

Titans Sign DeAndre Hopkins

JULY 24: The Hopkins deal is now official, per a team announcement. Attention will turn to his individual performances given the threshold for his incentives, and his role in elevating Tennessee’s passing attack in their bid to become more productive through the air.

JULY 16, 3:24pm: Details of Hopkins’ incentives have come in, via Rapoport (Twitter link). The veteran will earn the maximum $3MM available in each of the two seasons of the pact if he records at least 95 catches, 1,050 yards and 10 touchdowns. Six-figure incentives are available at lower thresholds in all three of those categories, giving Hopkins plenty of reasons to attempt a return to his All-Pro form.

1:04pm: The lengthy free agent process for DeAndre Hopkins is set to come to an end soon. The All-Pro wideout has agreed to a deal with the Titans, as first reported by Doug Kyed of A to Z Sports (Twitter link). Ian Rapoport of NFL Network tweets that it is a two-year, $26MM deal with a maximum value of $32MM. He will earn a base salary of $12MM this year, with the potential to see $3MM more via incentives.

Kyed adds that the deal is expected to be finalized in the coming days. Presuming that takes place without issue, the Titans will have completed a signficant addition to their receiving corps as they look to take a needed step forward in the passing game in 2023. Hopkins (who was thought to be seeking the $15MM per year Odell Beckham Jr. received from the Ravens this offseason) had been on the open market since his release from the Cardinals in late May, setting up a high-profile summer free agency.

The 31-year-old floated the names of a number of young quarterbacks he would be interested in playing with even before his time in Arizona officially came to an end, and AFC powers Buffalo and Kansas City were frequently linked to him. Hopkins was reportedly waiting for the Chiefs to free up cap space via a Chris Jones extension, while the Bills remained on the radar. It was clear the latter team would not be willing to engage in a bidding war to land him, however. ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler notes (via Twitter) that Kansas City remained in touch, but their limited cap space made them a non-player in this situation.

Hopkins ultimately visited only two teams – the Patriots and Titans – before patiently waiting to see how his market developed. Both New England and Tennessee represented somewhat surprising destinations given his public affinity for quarterbacks other than Mac Jones and Ryan Tannehill, but each team was sufficiently impressed after his visits to make an offer. As of earlier this month, the Titans remained confident in their ability to acquire the five-time Pro Bowler.

The news marks a return to the AFC South for Hopkins, who spent the first seven years of his career in Houston. He recorded five 1,000-yard seasons during that span, but managed to replicate that feat only once in his three Cardinals campaigns. Injuries and a PED suspension cost him time over the past two seasons, but his production (64 catches, 717 yards) in nine games last season demonstrated his continued ability to operate as a N0. 1 receiver. He will look to assume that role in Tennessee, a team which lacks proven contributors elsewhere in its pass-catching corps.

2022 first-rounder Treylon Burks had a lackluster rookie season as the Titans struggled to find production through the air at the start of the post A.J. Brown era. Nick Westbrook-Ikhine, Kyle Phillips and Chris Moore represent the other main options on the WR depth chart, one which now has far more pedigree with Hopkins in place. His presence should help Tannehill in a 2023 season filled with questions about his future with the team.

Hopkins will also be reunited with offensive coordinator Tim Kelly, after the pair spent time together with the Texans. Expectations will be high for the former given his decision to accept the most lucrative offer made, and for the Titans as they look to return to the postseason. New general manager Ran Carthon‘s first major move on the open market has certainly boosted the team’s chances of doing so.

Latest On Bills’ DeAndre Hopkins Pursuit

After discussing trade terms with the Cardinals, the Bills were initially one of the frontrunners to land DeAndre Hopkins as a free agent. GM Brandon Beane spoke with the veteran wide receiver, but for the most part, Buffalo stayed out of these summer sweepstakes.

Hopkins opted for a two-year, $26MM Titans deal that can max out at $32MM. By all accounts, the Bills were not planning to go near the base price here. The Patriots and Chiefs also stood down, though it sounds like both these teams were bigger players for the 11th-year veteran than the Bills ended up being.

The Bills surfaced early as Hopkins suitors and joined the Chiefs as being the only known teams to discuss a swap with the Cardinals. The Ravens’ Odell Beckham Jr.  contract squashed the talks between the Cards and the AFC powers, and Hopkins — after hoping teams would drive up the market — looks to have gotten his wish. That said, we have not learned the guarantees yet.

The makeup of Buffalo’s pass-catching corps may also have contributed to the team staying away here. Hopkins averaged 10 targets per game in 2020 and 10.7 per contest last season, and Albert Breer of notes the high-profile free agent being a volume-type receiver is believed to have impacted the Bills, who have one of the best — in Stefon Diggs — atop their receiving hierarchy. The Bills using a first-round pick on Utah tight end Dalton Kincaid, whom Breer adds is expected to play the slot role the team was likely targeting Hopkins to man, also may have affected its desire to add Hopkins.

Joining the Chiefs near the bottom of the NFL in cap space for several weeks, the Bills also were believed to have a firm price point. They also have seen Diggs generate early drama, being sent home from the team’s first minicamp day. While Sean McDermott and Josh Allen have submitted strong “Nothing to see here; please disperse” routines regarding Diggs, the star wideout has yet to discuss his issues with the team publicly. Adding Hopkins to this equation would have introduced another complication, though it would have probably upgraded the defending AFC East champions’ arsenal. Bills brass also had good conversations with Hopkins, per Breer, but Gabe Davis remains in place as the team’s No. 2 wide receiver.

Other teams in this mix did feel Hopkins would have taken less money from the Chiefs or another high-level contender had the money not moved to OBJ-level territory, Breer adds. With the the receiver-needy Titans ponying up, Hopkins will be back in the AFC South and in a No. 1-type role again.

Latest On Patriots’, Chiefs’ DeAndre Hopkins Offers

DeAndre Hopkins made his free agent decision on Sunday, inking a $26MM deal with the Titans. He turned down offers from other AFC suitors in the process, opting for the contract which included the most guaranteed money available.

The Patriots were long considered a serious contender to land the All-Pro wideout, having been the only team other than the Titans to host him on a free agent visit. New England, like Tennessee, submitted an offer to Hopkins, but a report from yesterday indicated the Patriots one he turned down was significantly lower than that of the Titans. Further details on that front have emerged.

Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer reported during an appearance on NBC Sports Boston’s Sports Sunday program (h/t Darren Hartwell) that New England was willing to offer Hopkins a maximum of $15MM in 2023, but the majority of that figure was represented by incentives. The Titans, by contrast, guaranteed the five-time Pro Bowler $12MM with the potential for another $3MM via incentives.

The Patriots currently sit 10th in the NFL in cap space, with over $17.7MM in available funds heading into training camp. That means they could have afforded to match the Titans’ offer, but instead elected to hold firm with a more risk-averse approach to the 31-year-old, who has missed notable time during each of the past two seasons due to injury and suspension. They will now move forward with an in-house collection of receivers which is led by the recently-extended DeVante Parker, free agent addition JuJu Smith-Schuster, 2022 second-round pick Tyquan Thornton and veteran Kendrick Bourne.

Breer also provided insight into the Chiefs’ pursuit of Hopkins. The defending Super Bowl champions were long mentioned as a potential destination, in spite of their cap constraints. Before the draft, Breer notes, Kansas City offered a base salary of $4MM with incentives pushing the contract’s maximum value to $10MM. Hopkins was thought to be waiting for the Chiefs to free up money via a Chris Jones extension, but his Tennessee agreement has come before any developments on that front. Even with manufactured cap space for this season, Kansas City likely would not have realistically been able to outbid Tennessee.

Hopkins secured a lofty base package, along with a tall task in terms of reaching the maximum value of the pact through incentives. By choosing the Titans, though, he has added considerably to the team’s chances of reclaiming the AFC South title while ensuring better compensation compared to what the Patriots and Chiefs were willing to provide.

Pats’ Offer To DeAndre Hopkins Fell Short

In case you missed it, the Titans won the sweepstakes for three-time All-Pro wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins. Tennessee signed him to a two-year, $26MM contract that can be boosted up to $32MM with a few incentives. It seemed coming into the weekend that it was a two-team race between the Titans and Patriots, but New England ended up just falling short, according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler.

For weeks, Tennessee and New England were the only visits Hopkins had taken, but a deal didn’t seem imminent with either organization, despite an unofficial soft deadline of training camp to get a deal done. Many seemed to think that Hopkins was waiting for more teams to jump into the mix. Perhaps Kansas City would find a way to clear some cap space by extending defensive tackle Chris Jones, effectively allowing them into the race. Or, maybe, another team with cap space might suffer an injury that leaves them in need of a No. 1 receiver.

Even if new suitors emerged, the Patriots felt they were in a strong position after Hopkins’s visit. The veteran receiver was well-received by current players, and the presence of offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien in New England only helped the team’s case. Some of Hopkins’s most impressive seasons came with O’Brien as his head coach in Houston. The idea of reuniting with his former head coach kept the Patriots in contention, alongside Tennessee.

The feeling for weeks has been that New England liked Hopkins, according to Phil Perry of NBCS Boston. He clearly still has gas in the tank and is familiar with their new offensive coordinator’s system. He would also provide some veteran depth and leadership at a position that has two players with significant injury history in JuJu Smith-Schuster and DeVante Parker. Providing their young, developing quarterback with a star receiver could prove invaluable.

As much as they like him, though, nobody was expecting them to pay the big bucks to obtain him. They reportedly had the ability to match the Titans offer. According to Perry, they could’ve beaten Tennessee’s offer if they really wanted to. Instead, Fowler reports that New England’s “base financial package wasn’t in the same ballpark as what (the) Titans offered.” Hopkins will head to Nashville, and the Patriots will have to hope that their wide receiving corps will have what it takes to get the job done.

Bills Still In On DeAndre Hopkins

The Patriots and Titans’ offers for DeAndre Hopkins were extended nearly a month ago. The former All-Pro wide receiver’s inaction has made it quite clear he is eager to see if other teams will compete with the AFC teams. It appears other interested parties remain.

Hopkins does look to be waiting on the Chiefs to extend Chris Jones. That will create cap space for the defending Super Bowl champions, who have been in on Hopkins since early this offseason. (More buzz on a Jones deal surfaced Tuesday.) The Chiefs negotiated with the Cardinals on a Hopkins trade, but the Ravens’ $15MM Odell Beckham Jr. guarantee blew up those talks and led to Arizona eventually releasing the 10-year veteran.

While Kansas City still looks to be lingering here, Buffalo fits the same profile. The Bills also negotiated with the Cardinals before Hopkins’ release, and GM Brandon Beane spoke with the then-agentless wide receiver shortly after the late-May cut. Not much has emerged on the Buffalo-Hopkins front in weeks, but Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio notes the team is still in on the high-profile free agent (Twitter link). As of now, however, the Bills are not aiming to compete with an escalating market. They have a firm price point, per Florio.

Buffalo’s price is clearly not to Hopkins’ liking, and the team only carries $5.5MM in cap space. The Bills and Chiefs’ low cap-space figures likely led to the Titans and Patriots taking the early lead here, hosting the former Texans superstar on visits. The Titans, who have the worst receiver situation among these four teams, may be the club most willing to come closest to Hopkins’ asking price. They remain confident in a deal transpiring. Tennessee submitting the highest offer would put Hopkins to a decision, especially if firm Bills or Chiefs proposals eventually emerge.

The Bills have a clear-cut No. 1 wide receiver, in Stefon Diggs. Despite Sean McDermott sending a disgruntled Diggs home from the team facility during minicamp, four years remain on the standout receiver’s contract. Hopkins is coming off two seasons limited by injuries and a PED ban. The Bills could still use the Clemson product as a hired gun of sorts alongside Gabe Davis, forming an imposing three-receiver set. The team is prepared to use first-round tight end Dalton Kincaid extensively in the slot, however, in two-tight end sets featuring starter Dawson Knox.

Hopkins, 31, has mentioned the Bills as an attractive destination at multiple points. It is unclear how he would proceed if the Bills and Chiefs submitted similar offers. Having lost JuJu Smith-Schuster and Mecole Hardman in free agency, Kansas City has a clearer receiver need. It is also unclear how much of a discount Hopkins would take if a Titans offer led the pack by a notable margin. The wait continues in one of the NFL’s two frequently discussed midsummer free agent derbies.