Top 3 Reasons Ravens Should Not Pursue DeAndre Hopkins

Five-time Pro Bowl WR DeAndre Hopkins

Getty Five-time Pro Bowl WR DeAndre Hopkins was released by the Cardinals but shouldn't be signed by the Ravens.

For the past two offseasons, fans of the Baltimore Ravens were clamoring for the team’s front office to find a way to pair five-time Pro Bowl wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins with MVP-winning quarterback Lamar Jackson.

He has been viewed as the great white whale big-bodied ‘true No.1’ X receiver that they have been missing since they traded away Anquon Boldin to the San Fransisco 49ers following their 2012 Super Bowl-winning season.

The soon-to-be 31-year-old three-time First-Time All-Pro was released by the Arizona Cardinals on Friday, May 26, 2023, after failing to find a trade partner for months per multiple reports and eventually the team themselves.

However, now that he is finally available to sign with any of the other 31 teams, pursuing him doesn’t make sense for the Ravens for multiple reasons, and below are the top three.

Ravens Already Have Enough Mouths to Feed on Offense

Had Hopkins been released in early March ahead of the start of the new league year or even shortly thereafter, perhaps he’d already be in purple and black. The team has historically aggressively pursued salary cap casualties at positions of need since signing them doesn’t impact the compensatory pick formula.

That didn’t happen and Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta wasn’t willing to part with one of the two top 100 draft picks that he had heading into the 2023 NFL Draft.

Instead, he signed a pair of former first-round wide receivers in three-time Pro Bowler Odell Beckham Jr. and fellow veteran Nelson Agholor and then proceeded to select former Boston College star wideout Zay Flowers No. 22 overall in the first round last month.

The addition of those three notable players coupled with the return of 2021 first-rounder Rashod Bateman and two-time Pro Bowler Devin Duvernay from injury has given Jackson the best group of receivers that he has had since entering the league.

There is also the Ravens’ impressive trio of tight ends that is highlighted by First-Team All-Pro Mark Andrews and rounded out by 2022 draft picks Isaiah Likely and Charlie Kolar who flashed as rookies.

This is the deepest and most talented arsenal of pass catchers that Jackson has ever had at any level and arguably ever assembled in franchise history. With so many mouths to feed already and the running backs expected to factor in the passing game as well, adding Hopkins would be an expensive luxury they don’t have enough room or targets to validate pursuing.

Price Tag Would be Too Prohibitive

The biggest hurdle that prevented the Cardinals from being able to trade Hopkins was his contract and large cap hits he was slated to have over the next two seasons with some reports indicating that he was seeking a new contract.

Even though he likely won’t command nearly as much as he was going to get on his old deal now that he’s on the open market, Hopkins will probably command at least an average annual salary in the neighborhood of what the Ravens signed Beckham Jr. for one year. They gave the three-time Pro Bowler a deal that will pay him $15 million and could go up to $18 million with incentives per

According to, the Ravens currently have $11.757 million in cap space with $9.396 million in effective cap space which is the 14th most in the league. There will undoubtedly be a bidding war for Hopkins in the coming weeks if not days and even with some creative accounting, pursuing him will still likely be a costly and prohibitive venture for DeCosta and Co.

Ravens Have Bigger Needs Elsewhere

While wide receiver was the team’s most glaring hole on the roster entering the offseason, after making multiple notable additions at the position since the start of free agency and through the draft, that is no longer the case.

As it currently stands, their top two remaining needs on the roster are edge rusher and cornerback. They don’t necessarily need to add an every-down starter at either position but could definitely benefit from bringing in some experienced depth that can still make meaningful contributions or be trusted to start in the event of an injury.

The Ravens have a pair of young outside linebackers that they’re excited about and are poised to break out this season in Odafe Oweh and David Ojabo. They also added another with schematic versatility to move inside and play some defensive end in fourth-round pick Tavius Robinson.

However, Tyus Bowser is the only veteran that is a lock to make the final 53-man roster. Luckily for the Ravens, there is an impressively deep pool of veteran edge defenders that they could bring in, and would be a better allocation of their resources than adding another veteran to an already crowded receiver room.

Some of the options that have either been linked, are familiar with, or would be ideal fits for them at the position include Justin Houston who led the team in sacks last season, Yannick Ngakoue who played for the team in 2020 after being acquired via trade, and former No. 1 overall pick Jadeveon Clowney who has been named as a fit for them for months.

They signed young veteran cornerback Rock Ya-Sin the week following the 2023 NFL Draft after not addressing the position until selecting former Stanford standout Kyu Blu Kelly in the fifth round. The 27-year-old former second-rounder has 38 career starts in 52 games under his belt per Pro Football Reference and is the type of big-bodied and aggressive press corner that the Ravens covet.

DeCosta still might want to bring in more competition for the starting spot opposite three-time Pro Bowler Marlon Humphrey or just some more seasoned depth. They have a wealth of recently drafted youth at the position vying for the primary backup spots but they are all largely unproven which could mean trouble if an injury were to occur to one of their veteran starters.

The door hasn’t closed on bringing back three-time Pro Bowl ballhawk Marcus Peters who recently posted a heartfelt comment on a social media post by Jackson about how much he misses his teammates in Baltimore.

Any move involving him might have to wait until training camp once the Ravens have gotten a good look at some of their youngsters and can determine if they can be relied upon or not.