Browns’ Shot at Landing DeAndre Hopkins Takes Another Hit

DeAndre Hopkins

Getty The Browns are not too eager to land DeAndre Hopkins.

The Cleveland Browns shot at landing DeAndre Hopkins has taken another hit, with the former All-Pro receiver scheduling a visit with the New England Patriots.

It’s the second visit Hopkins has scheduled, per NFL Network. He’s set to meet with the Tennessee Titans earlier in the week. Both teams could use a receiver of Hopkins’ caliber — more than the Browns, who have a clear No. 1 pass-catcher in Amari Cooper and bolstered the receiving corps with Elijah Moore, Marquise Goodwin and rookie Cedric Tillman.

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick is a fan of Hopkins and heaped some praise on the five-time Pro Bowler prior to their matchup last season.

“He’s every bit as good as anybody I’ve ever coached against,” Belichick said. “… He’s got tremendous ball skills. He catches everything, has great hands, and he’s long so he’s never covered. Even if he’s covered, there’s a place where the ball can be that he can get it and still make the catch. Great coordination on the sidelines, and he doesn’t really look it but he’s a strong kid.

“He’s a very smart football player, very savvy. But his ball skills are at the very elite level with guys that I’ve seen in this league. He’s up there with whoever the top guys are, the Cris Carters of the world and guys like that.”

Browns Were Early Favorite to Land DeAndre Hopkins

The Browns were established as an early favorite to land Hopkins, mostly due to his relationship with Cleveland quarterback Deshaun Watson. The two combined for some big years with the Houston Texans and there was mutual interest in a reunion, per Aaron Wilson of KPRC 2.

Watson also made a public pitch to Hopkins while speaking to reporters at a charity golf event.

“I’ll just say this, 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 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 and I think D-Hop would love to be a part of that.”

The two played together from 2017-19 and Hopkins thrived during that span. He caught 315 passes for 4,115 yards and 31 touchdowns.

Browns Happy With Current Receivers

Adding Hopkins at this point of the offseason would be a luxury for the Browns, who did some work to give Watson new weapons.

“I really, really like our wide receiver room,” Browns head coach Kevin 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.”

Watson is also ready to put last season’s disappointments behind him and has impressed so far this offseason. With a full offseason and no suspension looming, he’s looking more like the Pro Bowl talent he was in Houston that led the league in passing yards.

“I feel really good. Like I said before, the biggest thing is the confidence level. Who I am trusting, what I do trust in the work that I put in these past couple of years to get back to this position I’m in,” Watson said. “And have the opportunity to go out there and try to win some games and do it with the guys that we have on the field. So I’m enjoying myself, I’m having fun, and I just keep stacking days.”

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