The Browns have the best odds to land Hopkins, which is due in large part to his prior connection with Cleveland quarterback Deshaun Watson. The Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs are also in the mix but former NFLer-turned-analyst Ross Tucker thinks the Browns make the most sense for Hopkins, with the team’s “desperation” playing a role.
“The primary factor driving my belief is the main motivator for most decisions in the NFL: personal interest and job security. Browns general manager Andrew Berry and coach Kevin Stefanski are coming off back-to-back losing seasons,” Tucker wrote in an article for The 33rd Team. “The organization made a gigantic investment in terms of both draft picks and money to bring Watson to Cleveland. Simply put, they need to make it work this year.”
When it comes to Super Bowl odds, the defending champion Chiefs (+600) and Bills (+900) are near the top of the list. You’d have to scroll down some ways to find the Browns at +3,500, although Cleveland should be a contender after a strong offseason, a full year of Deshaun Watson under center and a talented core leading the way.
“He’ll get more money than he would in Kansas City or Buffalo, and the Browns are not a rebuilding team like the Texans,” Tucker said. “They have a chance if things go their way.”
Deshaun Watson Wants to Run it Back With DeAndre Hopkins
There is a mutual interest that exists between Hopkins and the Browns to get a deal done, per Aaron Wilson of KPRC 2. The move would reunite Hopkins with Watson, who was his quarterback during his prolific seasons in Houston.
Hopkins caught 264 passes for 3,343 yards and 25 touchdowns with Watson as his quarterback with the Texans, racking up All-Pro and Pro Bowl honors.
Watson shared his thoughts on a potential Hopkins signing and what the Browns could offer him.
“D-Hop, DeAndre Hopkins, would love to be in a place where the opportunity is there for us to win,” Watson said. “We check all those boxes. I think for us to know and make sure we check all those boxes on the national stage, we got to go out there and prove it, and I think D-Hop would love to be a part of that and proving people wrong.”
Browns ‘Happy’ With Current Group of Wide Receivers
Desperate might be a strong word to describe the Browns when it comes to their interest in Hopkins. The team traded for Elijah Moore, signed veteran Marquise Goodwin and drafted Cedric Tillman to be part of the future in Cleveland. The newcomers will join Amari Cooper — who the Browns traded for last offseason — and Donovan Peoples-Jones.
It’s a delicate line the Browns have to dance while courting Hopkins but head coach Kevin Stefanski made it clear he likes what he has available currently.
“I really, really like our wide receiver room,” Stefanski told reporters when asked about Hopkins. “I love the guys that are in there. [General manager Andrew Berry] and his crew are always looking at every avenue and that type of thing. So I won’t comment specifically on the player, other than to say I really like our roster.”