We’ve got entered section two of free company within the NFL. The primary wave of strikes is within the rearview mirror, and now groups are beginning to fill out their rosters forward of the NFL Draft.
Nevertheless, there are nonetheless some very gifted gamers out there, each in free company and thru potential offers. Maybe the most important identify is Arizona Cardinals broad receiver DeAndre Hopkins. A possible alternative for the veteran receiver was mentioned all through the low season and in accordance with a last report from Ian Rapoport z NFL Communitygross sales talks “gaining momentum” amongst probably groups?
In fact, as famous by Rapoport, there are monetary concerns given Hopkins’ contract.
Nonetheless, he is the most effective receivers within the league, so there needs to be curiosity, even when the market is hampered by his deal measurement.
What bands could possibly be within the combine for his providers? Listed here are the principle candidates.
The Chicago Bears
After being traded from the primary total draft, the Bears wish to construct round Justin Fields, a minimum of for the 2023 season. The addition of a DJ Moore broad receiver is a part of that push, however the Bears may nonetheless use a receiver like Hopkins. Hopkins’ potential to adapt to missed throws and difficult catches in site visitors/towards contact just like the one towards the Minnesota Vikings is great for a younger quarterback like Fields:
Proper now, the Atlanta Falcons’ beginning wingers are Drake London, Mack Hollins and Josh Ali, in accordance with Boosters.
Perhaps the add-on is okay.
There could also be some overlap between London and Hopkins’ enjoying kinds – and albeit, Kyle Pitts, who typically units up outdoors and performs like the nice WR – however as with the dialogue of Fields and the Bears, Hopkins affords a pleasant security blanket for the younger, creating quarterback at Desmond Ridder.
Additionally just like Bears? Atlanta has a hat spot for such a transfer.
New England Patriots
New England Patriots followers have been clamoring for the broad receiving room addition for a while.
The staff added go catchers within the type of JuJu Smith-Schuster and tight finish Mike Gesicki, who acts as a relatively giant receiver. However New England additionally misplaced Jakob Meyers in free company and traded Jonnu Smith to the Falcons.
And as Mac Jones enters his third yr, as does Fields, there are nonetheless questions on whether or not he’s the long-term reply in New England. The staff employed Invoice O’Brien as offensive coordinator within the low season, hoping to create some stability across the third-year passer, however Hopkins once more affords the type of ball-winning mentality that may be large for Jones’ growth.
In fact, that may imply a reunion between Hopkins and the person who bought him to Arizona, however maybe O’Brien and the trustee can let the previous keep previously…
Ravens from Baltimore
We’re nonetheless ready to see how Lamar Jackson’s scenario unfolds in Baltimore. Will he return to the Ravens with a brand new contract? Play underneath the banner of a franchise? Or will the staff step in and signal the previous league MVP on a listing of affords that the Ravens will refuse?
On condition that the sport of musical quarter chairs appears to be coming to an finish, Jackson’s return to Baltimore could possibly be extra of a swing.
Including Hopkins by a commerce may maybe sweeten the deal.
With Adam Thielen’s transfer to the NFC South, there’s room for an addition to the receiving room in Minnesota.
There isn’t a doubt that that is the efficiency of Justin Jefferson, who led the league in yarding, receptions and received the titles of Offensive Participant of the Yr. However with out Thielen, there’s room for an additional choice reverse Jefferson. KJ Osborn has been a stable choice for the Vikings for the previous two years, however will it’s sufficient?
With the eye Jefferson is getting from second-rate contenders, Minnesota wants a receiver who can persistently capitalize on consecutive one-on-ones, and Hopkins is that type of receiver.
The largest impediment will be the scenario in Minnesota. But when CEO Kwesi Adofo-Mensah could make the numbers work, Hopkins could possibly be an important match for Vikings.
Here is a thought.
Chemistry between level guard and receiver is a large a part of offensive success. Actually, here’s a huge article I wrote about this concept over a yr in the past for extra info on belief between QB and WR.
A transfer to Cleveland would reunite Hopkins with Deshaun Watson, and there could also be no higher instance of QB’s belief within the receiver than Watson’s early NFL profession. For those who recall his first NFL begin, Thursday’s sport in Cincinnati towards the Bengals, it was clear who Watson trusted essentially the most.
Very clear, as Watson has focused Hopkins time and again on curls and exit routes:
Cleveland has Amari Cooper and Donovan Peoples-Jones on the listing, adopted by choices like David Bell, Anthony Schwartz, Jakeem Grant and Jaelon Darden. However an 11-man bundle from Cooper, Peoples-Jones and Hopkins could be powerful towards second-rate opponents.
Might the Payments deal with Hopkins?
Earlier than the season, discovering a vice-presidential contender for Stefon Diggs appeared to be one of many objects on CEO Brandon Beane’s to-do listing. Sadly, that listing included different objects, resembling pending free company choices on linebacker Tremaine Edmunds and Jordan Poyer’s security, in addition to managing the staff’s place on the wage cap.
Edmunds is now in Chicago after signing with the Bears, however Poyer is again with a brand new contract and the staff now has a greater monetary image because of Josh Allen and Von Miller’s restructured offers.
Now possibly Beane may check out this receiver room.
The staff fired Isaiah McKenzie, and whereas they added Trent Sherfield, including one other receiver nonetheless seems like a sensible transfer. Khalil Shakir could possibly be a powerful choice for them outdoors of the slot, and maybe the Payments will get the massive breakout Gabe Davis season that followers of the season have been hoping for, however inserting Hopkins reverse Stefon Diggs would offer an instantaneous enhance to Buffalo’s offensive.
Might Hopkins return to the place all of it started?
The Texans added one broad receiver within the low season with the signing of Robert Woods on free company. However they simply traded one other, transferring Brandin Cooks to the Dallas Cowboys.
The staff can also be anticipated to see the return of John Metchie III. The previous Alabama winger missed his whole rookie season after being identified with acute promyelocytic leukemia final summer time.
So, the Texans have choices within the receiving room, however given Houston is trying so as to add a rookie quarterback with a second total choose, surrounding that rookie with expertise could possibly be a sensible funding for normal supervisor Nick Caserio.
And but Hopkins helped one QB rookie again in Watson. Might he have accomplished the identical for a second the place his NFL profession started?