The first week in June in the NFL is not normally a time for rumors but the free agency of WR DeAndre Hopkins is not a normal one. Generally, a player with his contract and history is either sticking with his team by this point or would have been released at least a month or so prior to when the Arizona Cardinals set him free.
Hopkins to the Cleveland Browns rumors have been hot and heavy starting before NFL free agency. They cooled when GM Andrew Berry added Elijah Moore, Marquise Goodwin and Cedric Tillman to the receiver room.
With Hopkins a free agent, the rumors have heated back up as no trade compensation and, likely, a more realistic contract make reuniting Hopkins and Deshaun Watson possible.
Catching you up on the Hopkins rumors starting with what I am hearing:
- All things being equal, Hopkins would sign in Cleveland
- Right now, no team has blown the receiver away with a big enough offer to take the Browns out of the running
- Hopkins has an interest in coming to Cleveland, not just because of money
- Money is important
- The Browns have an interest in signing Hopkins within reason
- Signing Watson’s former teammate could lead to a trade of Donovan Peoples-Jones
- DPJ will be a free agent next year, his return is not certain
- Cleveland is unlikely to offer Hopkins the most money nor do they offer the best chance to produce big numbers in 2023 to get big money next offseason
- If the Browns are being used for leverage, they are okay with it. It shows other free agents that they are a real deal place for top players to come
- Unless a team comes out of nowhere or has an injury creating a huge need, Hopkins is unlikely to sniff a contract near what Odell Beckham Jr. received
- Like Amari Cooper, Hopkins is seen as a 1B/2A level receiver around the league
- If Hopkins is signed this year, the top four receivers for the team the following year (2024) are likely Hopkins, Tillman, Moore and David Bell with Cooper and DPJ elsewhere
- Unless he redoes his contract or has a monster year, this is Cooper’s last season with the Browns either way
I talked a lot about Hopkins but a few other topics as well on Sports 4 CLE from cleveland.com in the video below:
Hopkins Rumor Recap
- Aaron Wilson and Brad Stainbrook agree that a reunion is quite possible:
- Wilson went on 92.3 The Fan and shared that Watson is working hard behind the scenes:
- Jordan Schultz notes that Cleveland and New England “stand out” based on what he’s hearing:
- What former NFL Network reporter Mike Giardi is hearing would likely rule out the Browns:
- New Cleveland DE Za’Darius Smith is all smiles with the idea of Hopkins coming on board:
The Browns have already purchased waterfront property. They already have a dock. They already dress like Boat Guys. They are at the point when, no matter how nonsensical acquiring a used boat may be, it is the only decision now.
Where do you think Hopkins signs? What do you make of the Browns rumors? Do you want him to sign with Cleveland?