It’s hard to envision Bill O’Brien and DeAndre Hopkins coexisting after what happened a few years ago, when the Texans trade the star wideout to Arizona.
But would the presence of O’Brien actually preclude the Patriots from acquiring Hopkins this offseason?
Some believe so, as multiple reports indicate Hopkins and O’Brien, now the Patriots’ offensive coordinator, didn’t get along during their time together in Houston. But NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport recently offered a different take during an appearance on NBC Sports Boston.
“I don’t care about any of that,” Rapoport said. “Bill O’Brien is edgy with everyone. But he’s also a professional, and he also doesn’t call the shots. So, could they coexist? Like, I don’t see why not. Bill O’Brien, just like Bill Belichick, likes really good players. I think DeAndre Hopkins likes really good teams. I could see that working if that is a situation they decide to get into.”
Rapoport added that he currently doesn’t expect Hopkins to play for the Cardinals in 2023. Other reports have indicated a trade involving the superstar receiver could happen this offseason.
As for the Patriots, The Athletic’s Jeff Howe recently reported that it would be a “major surprise” if New England acquired the 30-year-old.
Nevertheless, a Hopkins trade would make a ton of sense for the Patriots, who desperately need high-end talent at receiver. Hopkins, a five-time Pro Bowler, is coming off a season that saw him miss six games due to a suspension and two more due to a knee injury but still post 64 catches for 717 yards and three touchdowns.