New reports about the future of free-agent wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins are emerging daily since his release by the Cardinals. It appears that he is open to reuniting with his former Texans teammate, Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson.
ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler has reported on the potential landing spots for Hopkins, suggesting that the Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs could be “threats” in signing him. However, the financial aspect might pose a challenge for these teams as Hopkins is seeking a favorable contract.
Fowler further mentioned that the Browns could be another viable option for Hopkins, saying he “senses” that Hopkins will be open to playing with Watson once again. While the Browns may not be considered major contenders in the pursuit of Hopkins, they could be seen as a “dark horse” in the race.
Watson joined Hopkins on the Texans in 2017 after being selected 12th overall in the NFL Draft. The duo showcased impressive chemistry during their time together, with Hopkins accumulating 315 receptions, 4,115 receiving yards, and 31 touchdowns between 2017-2019, a significant portion of which came from passes thrown by Watson.
Hopkins was acquired by the Arizona Cardinals in March 2020 through a trade with the Houston Texans. In his first year with the Cardinals, he made an immediate impact, securing 115 receptions for 1,407 yards and six touchdowns. However, injuries hindered his availability in the subsequent season, limiting him to 10 games and resulting in 42 receptions for 572 yards.
At 6’1″ and 212 pounds, the 30-year-old wide receiver brings an imposing presence to any team. Despite facing challenges during the 2022 season, including a suspension for violating the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy and several missed games, Hopkins still proved his worth as a reliable number one target.
During a recent episode of the I Am Athlete podcast, recorded while Hopkins was still with the Cardinals, he shed light on his preferences for his next team. The wide receiver stressed the significance of playing with a quarterback who possesses a genuine passion for the game and can inspire the entire team.
Furthermore, Hopkins emphasized the importance of a strong defense, citing the adage “defense wins championships” and highlighting the role of a formidable defensive line. Stability within the team’s management structure was also a priority for Hopkins, who revealed that he had already experienced four different general managers throughout his career.
This is what #Cardinals WR DeAndre Hopkins is looking for on his next team:
* QB that loves the game and brings everyone on board with him
* Great defense – "Defense wins championships. Gotta have a great D-Line"
* Stable management – Because he says he's been through 4 GMs in… pic.twitter.com/PFoj2efyrN
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) May 26, 2023
As the free agency market continues to unfold, it remains to be seen which team will ultimately secure the services of DeAndre Hopkins, but the Browns and Deshaun Watson are certainly a possibility.