The Battle for Superstar Gold: AFC Powerhouses Compete for the Signature of a Five-Time Pro Bowl WR
DeAndre Hopkins, a wide receiver, received contract offers after each trip. According to ESPN.com’s Dianna Russini, who spoke on NFL Live, the wide receiver made offers from the Titans and Patriots.
Hopkins is considering both possible transactions, but he hopes more clubs will show interest. Although other clubs have reportedly expressed interest, Hopkins has only traveled to Nashville and New England since being released by Arizona. Last week, the Patriots made an effort to sign Hopkins. The former All-Pro is pressing for more, though.
It is not unexpected that each club made an offer during their visits, given that Hopkins was informed by both teams that they still think he could be a valuable receiver. The Titans won the first game and appeared to require more assistance than the Patriots. Nevertheless, Bill Belichick has long been intrigued by Hopkins’ skill set, and the team is attempting to make the most of Mac Jones’ potential this season after the former first-round pick retreated as the Patriots carried out a peculiar 2022 setup with the since-departed Matt Patricia at the controls.
Hopkins is not ready to embrace one of these proposals soon, and Russini reiterates the need for patience. During either visit, the 31-year-old receiver did not receive the desired offer, and neither Ryan Tannehill nor Jones was on Hopkins’ list of preferred quarterbacks. Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes, two quarterbacks on that list, are the captains of groups actively pursuing this goal this summer. With the Arizona Cardinals, deals were brokered by the Chiefs and the Bills. Kansas City was adjusting Hopkins’ value to enable trade. Still, those conversations ended when the Baltimore Ravens guaranteed Odell Beckham Jr. $15 million in late March.
Hopkins probably hopes that one or both of those AFC heavyweights will enter this matchup once more if only to boost his market, and that the Kansas City Chiefs will be able to enhance their cap space by extending Chris Jones. The conversation is still going on. The Chiefs ($409K) and Buffalo Bills ($5.5M) are at the bottom of the list of money that is accessible. The Tennessee Titans have $7.9M, while the New England Patriots have $14.9M.
Tennessee has struggled to find a wide receiver since losing A.J. Brown, who hurt the team’s passing attack last season. The Titans selected Treylon Burks with the first overall pick in 2022, but as a rookie, he struggled with injuries and only managed 444 receiving yards. Burks will be held to higher standards this year, but the Titans also lack complementing support. The top WR2 option for Tennessee may be Nick Westbrook-Ikhine; the club chose a receiver in Round 7.
The New England Patriots signed JuJu Smith-Schuster to a three-year, $25.5 million contract as part of their increased offseason activity. Tyquan Thornton was selected by the Pats in the second round last year, but the Baylor product struggled with injuries throughout his rookie season. While the Pats also selected two receivers in the sixth round, DeVante Parker and Kendrick Bourne remain on the roster. Hopkins could benefit this receiving group, but the team needed consistency from its investments in Bourne and Nelson Agholor 2021, so it would be intriguing to see another two-signing summer.