The Browns have been heavily linked to Hopkins over the last few weeks, in large part because of his connection to Cleveland quarterback Deshaun Watson. The duo combined for some Pro Bowl seasons in Houston and the idea of a reunion has both parties interested.
However, Hopkins is starting to evaluate his options a little closer and scheduled a visit with the Tennessee Titans on Sunday. The Browns have yet to book a visit with Hopkins, per Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com, who also dubbed the signing a longshot.
“Deshaun Watson still wants the Browns to sign receiver DeAndre Hopkins, but it looks like a longshot for now,” Cabot wrote. “The Browns are happy with their current receiving corps, and aren’t looking to add a big-name, high-priced player such as Hopkins at this time. It’s currently unlikely to happen, but he’s also in the never-say-never category.”
Browns Need ‘Change in Team Circumstances’ to Sign DeAndre Hopkins
It’s unknown what kind of contract it would take to land Hopkins but there’s no doubt that will play a large role on where he ends up. Hopkins was once one of the highest-paid receivers in the league and it has been reported that he’s looking for a contract similar to what Odell Beckham Jr. got in Baltimore. Beckham’s deal had a base value of $15 million and could be worth up to $18 million this coming year with incentives.
NFL insider Josina Anderson of CBS Sports doubled down on Cabot’s report.
“DeAndre will still find a home, but in Cleveland it would take a change in team circumstances and/or a change in initial contract expectations,” Anderson tweeted. “My understanding is Baltimore will monitor his free agency.”
A change in team circumstances sounds like an injury or something of that sort. Amari Cooper is currently installed as the Browns’ stop pass-catcher and Cleveland did work to add some additional depth around him with Elijah Moore, Marquise Goodwin and rookie Cedric Tillman.
Deshaun Watson Had No Update on DeAndre Hopkins Pursuit
Watson made a public pitch to Hopkins about joining the Browns, making it clear that the franchise checks all the boxes he’s looking for — a talented quarterback, strong defense and stable ownership.
“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 last week. “We check all those boxes. 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 and proving people wrong.”
Watson was asked where things stand with Hopkins during his minicamp press conference on Wednesday, June 7 but didn’t have much to say.
“I have no idea,” Watson said. “That’s more of an [Andrew Berry] or Kevin question, but for me, I have no idea where that stands. But like I said last week, of course we would love to have him and we’ll see how things go.
“Hop, me and him have always had that relationship. So me and him are locked in. That’s my brother. I talked to him yesterday because it was his birthday, but nothing about football, just about life and just how he can just enjoy his day and more blessings.”
Hopkins caught 315 passes for 4,115 yards and 31 touchdowns during his time with Watson in Houston.