The Chiefs And Bills Are In An ‘Arms Race’ For Free-Agent WR DeAndre Hopkins

DeAndre Hopkins

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The Buffalo Bills and the Kansas City Chiefs have emerged as front-runners in the pursuit of star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins.

According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, both teams are in an “arms race” to secure the services of the talented pass-catcher.

Fowler’s report suggests that while neither team is overly concerned about landing Hopkins, they are motivated to ensure that he doesn’t end up with their rival.

The Chiefs, however, might not be as aggressive in their pursuit due to their reported belief in Kadarius Toney’s potential as a true number one receiver in the upcoming 2023 season.

The Cleveland Browns and New York Jets are also mentioned as potential players in the Hopkins sweepstakes, although they are not currently considered favorites to land him.

Earlier this week, Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer reported that both the Bills and the Chiefs had previously engaged in substantive trade talks with the Arizona Cardinals for Hopkins. These discussions were apparently stalled due to contract details, and the talks occurred before the NFL Draft.

Breer also notes that the Chiefs appeared closer to finalizing a deal for Hopkins before Odell Beckham Jr. signed a one-year, $15 million contract with the Baltimore Ravens which increased Hopkins’ contract demands.

Given the Chiefs’ need for a prototypical X-style wide receiver, Hopkins seemed like an ideal fit. On the other hand, the Bills already boast one of the league’s premier X receivers in Stefon Diggs.

Both teams face significant salary cap challenges, but in today’s NFL, teams have multiple tools at their disposal to navigate the cap, including contract restructures and converting portions of contracts to signing bonuses. Therefore, cap issues might not be an insurmountable hurdle in their pursuit of Hopkins.

The Arizona Cardinals surprisingly released Hopkins on May 26. Hopkins still showcased his skills as a worthy number one target last season, accumulating 64 receptions for 717 yards and three touchdowns in just nine starts following a PED suspension. The Cardinals’ inability to find a trade partner for Hopkins has raised some eyebrows across the league.