Hopkins is free to sign with any team after being released by the Arizona Cardinals earlier this month. And the three-time All-Pro has suitors, including the Browns, who are quarterbacked by his former teammate Deshaun Watson.
Hopkins has been fairly quiet since hitting the open market but his tweet revved up speculation that he could be getting closer to making a decision. Hopkins simply tweeted three emojis that seemingly meant “hear no evil, speak no evil, see no evil.”
What it means is up for debate but it generated hundreds of comments, many recruiting him on behalf of the Browns.
“Come to The Land!” one comment read.
The hashtag “DawgPound” was also very prevalent in the comments.
Browns Landing DeAndre Hopkins Gaining Momentum
The Browns were once seen as longshots to land Hopkins but the momentum seems to be shifting. Cleveland was mentioned by ESPN’s Adam Schefter among teams that are in the mix for Hopkins. The other squads eyeing Hopkins include the Kansas City Chiefs, Buffalo Bills and the New England Patriots.
“There is the Cleveland Browns. He worked with Deshaun Watson in the past, I am sure Watson wants to work with him again,” Schefter said on his show The Adam Schefter Podcast. “The Browns certainly could use another wide receiver to compliment Amari Cooper although Donovan Peoples-Jones came on and they do have some other young wide receiving talent. But Cleveland would make some sense, but again, does DeAndre Hopkins want to go there?”
Much of the discussion will come down to money and what the Browns can offer. The Chiefs and Bills both have offenses that Hopkins could thrive in but are in the red when it comes to effective cap space, per Over the Cap.
The Browns will have around $15 million in effective cap space by the end of the week when some of the post-June 1 cuts clear. General manager Andrew Berry has been aggressive this offseason and could have one more game-changer up his sleeve.
Deshaun Watson Made Public Pitch to DeAndre Hopkins
Prior to being released, Hopkins joined the “I AM ATHLETE” podcast and broke down what he’s looking for at his next stop.
“What I want is stable management upstairs,” Hopkins said. “I think that’s something I haven’t really had the past couple years of my career coming from Houston and then to Arizona. I’ve been through three or four GMs in my career, so a stable management. A QB who loves the game, a QB who brings everybody on board with him and pushes not just himself but everybody around him … and a great defense. A great defense wins championships.”
The Browns meet those requirements and Watson made a public pitch to Hopkins on Tuesday while speaking to reporters.
“I’ll just say this: D-Hop would love to be in a place where the opportunity is there for us to win,” Watson said. “We check all those boxes and I think for us to know and make sure we check all those boxes on the national stage, we’ve got to go out there and prove it. I think D-Hop would love to be a part of that and improving the people (in that) room.”
The Browns added to their wide receiver room this offseason, trading for Elijah Moore and signing veteran Marquise Goodwin. The team also drafted Cedric Tillman in the third round, locking him in as a part of the future. Cooper is currently the top pass-catcher in Cleveland and Peoples-Jones will also see a significant amount of targets.