Report: Patriots hosting former Cardinals WR DeAndre Hopkins next week
Jun 9, 2023, 8:16 AM | Updated: 8:37 am
(Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Could it be bury-the-hatchet time for wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins and Bill O’Brien?
The former Arizona Cardinals wide receiver’s free-agent tour rolls on with a visit to the New England Patriots scheduled for next week, per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
The news of Hopkins’ meeting with the Patriots comes after NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported Wednesday the wideout was visiting the Tennessee Titans this weekend.
But while the Patriots ($14.3 million) currently have more cap space to work with than the Titans ($7.9 million), a potential signing in New England would reunite Hopkins with the former Houston Texans general manager and head coach in O’Brien.
O’Brien, who now serves as New England’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, orchestrated the trade that shipped Hopkins and a 2020 fourth-round pick to Arizona in exchange for running back David Johnson, a 2020 second-rounder and a 2021 fourth-round pick.
Reports soon followed saying the Texans didn’t want to re-do the wide receiver’s contract, leading to his eventual trade.
But if there was anyone who knows what the wide receiver can bring to a team, it’s O’Brien.
The coach and Hopkins spent six seasons together, with the wideout racking up 7,800 yards and 52 touchdowns on 580 catches over that span. That included Hopkins’ career-bests of 13 scores in 2017 and 1,572 receiving yards in 2018.
And even if he’s on the backend of his career, Hopkins would certainly bolster a Patriots WRs room that currently features DaVante Parker and Tyquan Thornton as the team’s top too receiving options.
The Cardinals released Hopkins on May 26 with two years left on his deal in an effort to free up more than $10 million in cap space for the 2024 season by taking on a dead-money hit of more than twice that amount this coming year.