The Cardinals have been looking to trade Hopkins this offseason but there’s been little reported movement. Teams do not want to give up the haul of draft picks the Cardinals desire for the veteran pass-catcher and also don’t want the current deal Hopkins is attached to that will pay him $19.4 million and account for a $30 million-plus cap hit.
Recent rumors have pointed to teams believing that Hopkins could eventually be cut, which would make things very interesting. By doing so, the Cardinals could save around $8 million in cap space.
Insider: DeAndre Hopkins in ‘Never Say Never’ Category for Browns
If Hopkins is released, it would open the door for the Browns to reunite him with his former quarterback Deshaun Watson. Browns insider Mary Kay Cabot doesn’t see it as a likely outcome but didn’t slam the door on the idea.
“Hopkins is in the ‘unlikely but never say never’ category,” Cabot wrote in her most recent Q&A column for cleveland.com. “He did flourish with Deshaun Watson in their two full seasons together in Houston — 1,572 and 1,165 receiving yards in 2018 and 2019 — but Hopkins, a five-time Pro Bowler, wouldn’t come cheap, and the Browns are happy with the makeup of their pass-catching corps in terms of size, speed, slot capability and ability to separate.”
DeAndre Hopkins Would Have to Take Discount to Land With Browns
It ultimately comes down to price and if Hopkins would be willing to take a discount — even for a single season — to pursue a championship with Watson in Cleveland.
“At this point, older veteran players such Hopkins and Odell Beckham Jr. likely cost more — well into the double-digit millions — than the Browns are willing to pay. Again, if their price drops, anything can happen,” Cabot said.
Beckham was also on the radar at one point for the Browns and the Cleveland attended his private workout in Arizona. However, he’s seeking a fairly hefty payday and is coming off a missed season due to a torn ACL — his second serious knee injury over a short span.
Browns QB Deshaun Watson Still in Contact With DeAndre Hopkins
Watson is the big tool the Browns would have on their side if they wanted to take a run at Hopkins. And the Cleveland QB said earlier this offseason on “The Q with Quincy Avery” that he would see what’s going on with his former pass-catcher.
“Once you kind of know, you just kind of communicate with him, nothing too serious,” Watson said in February. “Me and D-Hop have been friends for a while so we’re actually going to be in the same area probably this weekend. So you know, we’re gonna chop it up and see where things kind of hold for us. But nothing’s guaranteed and you just kind of let it flow from there.”
The positive for the Browns is that they can feel confident in the improvements they’ve made. Moore and veteran speedster Marquise Goodwin should add a new element to the offense and Watson’s chemistry with Amari Cooper and Donovan Peoples-Jones will only get better with a full offseason under their belts.