The New England Patriots are a favorite to land Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins.
Is this another one of those rumors linking the Patriots to every top receiver who becomes available via trade or is there some real juice here?
With the Arizona Cardinals cleaning house following a disappointing 2022 NFL season, Hopkins is a name surfacing as the team’s best trade chip. What better trade partner than a team hungry for a top receiver and what better destination for Hopkins to re-emerge that top receiver status than the Patriots?
Obviously, it will all depend on what Bill Belichick will be willing to give up for Hopkins, who he has a lot of respect for. The team currently has the No. 14 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. That would be a very steep price for Hopkins who is on the other side of 30, but a second-round pick or a third and a young player in exchange could be enough to land the talented wide receiver.
Will the New England Patriots outbid for DeAndre Hopkins?
But there will be other team’s factoring in the pursuit of Hopkins including the Green Bay Packers who are the favorites according to DraftKings Sportsbook. The Patriots are the second favorites, but fans have been down this path before. There is seemingly always another team that outbids the Patriots for top talent available in a trade. There are times, however, that the price doesn’t end up being too steep.
If that becomes the case with Hopkins, the Patriots can’t let this opportunity slip. Again, Belichick seems admired by the player heaping some big praise at the player prior to the team’s Monday Night matchup against the Cardinals back in December.
"“He’s got tremendous ball skills, he catches everything, great hands,” Belichick said, as transcribed by azcardinals.com. “He’s never covered – even if he’s covered, there’s a place the ball can be that he can get it, still make the catch. Great coordination on the sidelines, and he doesn’t really look it but he’s a strong kid. You see him break tackles, he’s strong creating separation, yards after contact, extra yards around the goal line or the extra yard for a first down. He’s a smart football player, very savvy. His ball skills are the very elite level with guys I’ve seen in this league.”"
In going on to compare Hopkins to Chris Carter, the Patriots head coach sounded like he would love to have this type of receiver on his team. I know many Patriots fans are trying to forget the N’Keal Harry bust, but it looks like a player like Hopkins is what he had in mind when drafting the Arizona State product.
Hopkins also sounds like the perfect target for Mac Jones. With the potential of Hopkins and DeVante Parker on the outside and a burner like Tyquan Thornton with Kendrick Bourne and/or Jakobi Meyers working the middle, the Patriots’ offense would look much different in 2023. With that said, let’s put on the breaks a bit.
The potential of Hopkins could depend on who the team names as offensive coordinator. If it is indeed Bill O’Brien, the gifted wide receiver does have some beef with his former head coach who was the reason Hopkins demanded his way out of Houston. That scenario makes this rumor more unrealistic and will just lead to disappointment.
So, the real question becomes: Would Patriots fans rather a functional, proven offensive coordinator in Bill O’Brien or a No. 1 receiver in DeAndre Hopkins?
There will be other options in either case, but the offensive coordinator choice will impact any hope in DeAndre Hopkins.