Patriots fans probably shouldn’t get too excited about the possibility of DeAndre Hopkins landing in New England.
The Arizona Cardinals last week released the star receiver, who was the subject of trade rumors throughout the offseason. Hopkins, a five-time Pro Bowler who’ll turn 31 next week, now is free to sign with any team.
Maybe that team will be the Patriots, currently a middling franchise with an unproven quarterback coached by an offensive coordinator with whom Hopkins has a checkered history. But ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, one of the top insiders covering the NFL, has his doubts.
“Do I sense DeAndre Hopkins is eager to reunite with Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien — the two reportedly had a rocky relationship in Houston — in an unsettled quarterback situation for the right to practice in the snow? No,” Fowler, who listed New England as a “wild card” suitor for Hopkins, wrote in a column last Friday. “But money often drives these conversations, and it’s no secret the Patriots have been on the market for pass-catching help for Mac Jones.”
Over the weekend, Fowler once again named the Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs as possible landing spots for Hopkins. He added the two franchises could be in an “arms race” for the free agent wideout.
That doesn’t mean Patriots fans should give up all hope of seeing Hopkins in New England. The Patriots reportedly showed interest in Hopkins before his release and will do so again now that he’s on the open market. Moreover, Hopkins on Sunday raised eyebrows with a Patriots-related video on his Instagram story. So, let’s see what happens.
Hopkins, who topped 1,000 receiving yards in six of his first 10 NFL seasons, is coming off another strong campaign. Despite missing the first six games of the season due to a suspension, he finished with 64 catches for 717 yards and three touchdowns.