The DeAndre Hopkins sweepstakes continues as the top free agent wide receiver searches for his next NFL team.
Hopkins said that he’s searching for a solid organization with a good quarterback he can gel with toward the postseason, but there is one team that fits that bill that seems to be out on the Pro Bowler.
The New York Jets have Aaron Rodgers under center after finalizing a blockbuster trade with the Green Bay Packers, and the move projects them to be a serious contender after not making the playoffs for the past 12 seasons.
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New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh attends a press conference to introduce Aaron Rodgers as the new quarterback for the New York Jets at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center on April 26, 2023 in Florham Park, New Jersey. (Elsa/Getty Images)
But head coach Robert Saleh through a question about Hopkins potentially joining the team to the wayside on Wednesday.
“We love our current group,” Saleh said, via The New York Post, about the team’s receivers. “I know there was some stuff with Odell [Beckham Jr.], but other than that, we love our group.”
The Jets were in the Beckham sweepstakes, but he ended up signing a one-year deal with the Baltimore Ravens to join Lamar Jackson.
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While there’s always some gamesmanship when it comes to keeping plans under wraps throughout professional sports, taking Saleh at his word seems legit when looking at the Jets’ receiving corps.
First, Garrett Wilson won Offensive Rookie of the Year last year despite flux at the quarterback position between Zach Wilson, Mike White and Joe Flacco. He’s expected to thrive with Rodgers calling the shots on offense now.
DeAndre Hopkins #10 of the Arizona Cardinals makes a catch in front of David Long Jr. #22 of the Los Angeles Rams during a 27-17 win at SoFi Stadium on November 13, 2022 in Inglewood, California. (Harry How/Getty Images)
There’s also the addition of Allen Lazard, who knows Rodgers really well from their time in Green Bay. He signed with the Jets despite the Rodgers deal not going through yet this offseason. Even Randall Cobb, Rodgers’ longtime target with the Packers, went to One Jets Drive as a free agent, too.
GM Joe Douglas also added MeCole Hardman, who is expected to be a deep ball threat as well as someone Rodgers can get the ball out to quick for a potential huge gain with his blazing speed. Add veterans Corey Davis and Denzel Mims, and the Jets must like their chances with this position group.
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At the same time, Hopkins is a perennial No. 1 receiver in the NFL, so completely washing away the chance of bringing him in would be malpractice. The Jets have the cap room to get a deal for Hopkins done, as OverTheCap.com has them with roughly $24 million in surplus right now.
Teams like the Kansas City Chiefs, Buffalo Bills and Philadelphia Eagles are among the favorite to land the man they call “Nuk” on the gridiron due to their status as some of the top teams in the NFL, especially when it comes to their quarterback play.
Wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins #10 of the Arizona Cardinals during the NFL game at State Farm Stadium on December 12, 2022 in Glendale, Arizona. The Patriots defeated the Cardinals 27-13. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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But the Jets seem very content with the group they have in the building right now. Getting everyone on the same page under new offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, who Rodgers played under in Green Bay as well, appears to be the main priority for the organization.