05 June, 2023
The finest NFL free agent available right now is DeAndre Hopkins, and if the seasoned wide receiver gets his way, the team that signs him won’t get much for their money.
After being released by the Arizona Cardinals two weeks ago, Hopkins, who turns 31 on June 6, became a free agent. He played for the Cardinals for three seasons, accumulating 221 receptions for 2,696 yards and 17 touchdowns in 35 games.
What sort of agreement is Hopkins looking for?
According to two league executives, “Hopkins wants a deal similar to what the Baltimore Ravens gave Odell Beckham Jr., who signed a one-year deal worth $15 million guaranteed with another $3 million in incentives.”
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According to OverTheCap, just 10 teams now have $15 million or more in salary cap room. Those teams include the Pittsburgh Steelers, Detroit Lions, New York Jets, and Dallas Cowboys. The Patriots allegedly have agreed to sign free agency wideout Ed Lee from the University of Rhode Island. The Patriots have a little more than $13 million in contract space.
Hopkins might even fit in New England.
Here is what Phil Perry, one of our Patriots insiders, wrote last week:
various themes have developed after speaking with various league insiders this week regarding a possible partnership between Hopkins and the Patriots. I’m informed that he is not considered to be a “program fit.”
Hopkins “doesn’t practice,” according to an offensive assistant. Others who described the Patriots as a “rigid” workplace where an emphasis on thorough preparation is the norm echoed that opinion.
“That’s not him,” remarked the offensive assistant. He has never been that person.
Hopkins ought to be quite valuable. The first-round choice from 2013 may not be the Tier 1 wide receiver he once was, but when healthy, he is still a very effective player.