Teams hoping to snag DeAndre Hopkins can kiss their dreams goodbye; he has a discerning standard that leaves most of them out in the cold.
DeAndre Hopkins is easily one of the top five wide receivers in the NFL when he’s healthy. If not for getting popped for PEDs, he would have put up another 1,000-yard season as an Arizona Cardinal. Now, a guy who can change the passing offense is a free agent. To some, he may be washed, but if you saw him play at the end of the 2022 NFL season, you would have seen he hasn’t lost a step. He has a skill set that allows him to age gracefully. He’s an elite route runner with exceptional hands and plays with a tenacity that transcends eras.
Which NFL teams could sign DeAndre Hopkins after Cardinals release?
In the right offense, the former first-round pick could help take the quarterback to the next level. He’s a nightmare for defensive coordinators given how versatile he is as a wideout. Unfortunately, despite him being a free agent, not all 31 teams have a shot at the former All-Pro. Hopkins is a man who knows what he wants, and it’s not being part of a team that’s rebuilding. Naturally, that eliminates six teams with some not-so-good rosters.
On I Am Athlete, Hopkins listed his criteria. The signal caller makes all the difference for Hopkins. Kyler Murray caught strays when Hopkins expressed that he’d want to play for a quarterback that loves football. But, he also knows it’s not all about the quarterback. Hopkins said that he wanted to play for a team with a great defense since defense wins championships. So, most fan bases may as well give up hope since there are only a few teams that fit that criteria.
49ers fans, Hopkins won’t be there despite having an elite defense, head coach, and being Super Bowl contenders. There’s too much uncertainty at the quarterback spot. New York Jets fans, don’t hold your breath either. The defense is amazing, but Aaron Rodgers is a short-term rental. With the uncertainty at quarterback, Hopkins may not want to hitch his wagon to a team without long-term plans.
It would be nice to see him reunite with Deshaun Watson, but given the question marks about their defensive and lack of playoff appearances, it’s hard to imagine him opting for the fourth-best team in the AFC North.