Three-time Pro Bowl wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins has been at the center of trade rumors throughout the duration of the offseason. Just about everyone expects the Cardinals to part ways with the superstar at some point during the 2023 NFL Draft, and Hopkins himself recently took to the airwaves to discuss his preferred destinations – or rather, to use his body language to convey his thoughts on certain team fits.
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) April 16, 2023
DeAndre Hopkins Gives Preferred Trade Destinations
The Team Fits
So, in summary, DeAndre Hopkins has no interest in a trade to the New England Patriots or New York Jets, but would welcome a new home with the Buffalo Bills or Kansas City Chiefs. Frankly, this isn’t too surprising. The Chiefs and Bills are arguably the two best teams in the entire AFC with young, elite quarterbacks leading the charge.
The Patriots, meanwhile, have a highly unproven quarterback in Mac Jones and a roster that leaves a lot to be desired. This team missed the playoffs in three of the past four seasons, and hasn’t even won a playoff game since their Super Bowl 53 victory over the Los Angeles Rams. An older player like Hopkins is probably looking for a true contender, and the Patriots do not fit that description. For the cherry on top, DeAndre Hopkins probably wouldn’t be fond of any trade that reunited him with former head coach Bill O’Brien.
The Jets, meanwhile, will have Aaron Rodgers at some point in time, but they’re still a fairly unproven team. While there is a lot of talent here, there is no guarantee that they can make the playoffs even with Rodgers. The AFC East is an absolute gauntlet, and it makes sense that Hopkins would want to join a more proven organization.
Of course, the interview only mentioned four teams, and there should be more than just the four aforementioned clubs trying to acquire Hopkins. While the Odell Beckham signing certainly gave the Ravens some depth at wide receiver, adding DeAndre Hopkins could turn the wide receiver room from a weakness to a major strength. Baltimore burned a few bridges with Lamar Jackson over the past few months, and getting two big-name players would be the perfect olive branch to try and restore the relationship.
DeAndre Hopkins Trade Won’t Require A Raise
One of the biggest hold ups in a DeAndre Hopkins trade has been the possibility of re-negotiating the wide receiver’s contract. As currently constructed, the three-time All-Pro is set to earn $19.45 million in 2023 and $14.9 million in 2024, but those values aren’t guaranteed. However, in a (since deleted) Tweet, Hopkins said that he “doesn’t want a raise“. Even though the Tweet has since been removed, the wide receiver basically lost all his potential leverage by sending it out in the first place.
Good source https://t.co/s8O0Te4SEA
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 16, 2023
Of course, just because he doesn’t want a raise doesn’t mean that he’s happy with his contract as currently constructed. Perhaps he wants more guaranteed money, or perhaps he wants the opportunity to hit free agency following the 2023 season. No matter what the details of his request are, the fact remains that money shouldn’t be stopping any team from acquiring a reliable veteran receiver.
Main Photo: Michael Chow – USA Today Sports