Browns Swinging Trade for Deshaun Watson’s Former Top WR ‘Not Impossible’

Deshaun Watson

Getty Images Deshaun Watson of the Cleveland Browns.

The Cleveland Browns swinging a deal for DeAndre Hopkins isn’t likely but one insider isn’t ruling isn’t completely ruling out a potential move for Deshaun Watson’s former top target.

In her latest Q&A column, Mary Kay Cabot of was asked about the idea of the Browns making a move for Hopkins, who the Cardinals are expected to move this offseason. While she wasn’t overly optimistic about a deal happening due to Hopkins’ age (30) and salary, she dubbed it “not impossible.”

“The Browns would have what it takes from an exchange standpoint, but probably wouldn’t want to pay Hopkins, 30, his base salaries for 2023 and 2024, about $20 million and $15 million. If the two sides were interested in a deal, he’d likely have to restructure his contract,” Cabot wrote. “An older, high-priced receiver doesn’t really fit the Browns’ profile, but Hopkins still has plenty in the tank and a natural connection with Watson. It seems unlikely, but not impossible.”

Hopkins is a three-time First-Team All-Pro selection and has six thousand-yard seasons to his name. However, he’s coming off some rough years that have been hampered by injury and suspension, playing in nine games this season with the Cardinals. He still managed to notch 717 yards on 64 grabs with three touchdowns.

For the Cardinals, keeping Hopkins around doesn’t seem logical. Quarterback Kyler Murray is expected to miss at least part of next season after an ACL injury and the team fired head coach Kliff Kingsbury this offseason.

Hopkins Would Give Watson Familiar Face in WR Corps

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Watson and Hopkins thrived in Houston while playing together. Hopkins collected 4,115 receiving yards with Watson at the helm for the Texans, including a monster 1,572-yard, 115-catch season in 2018. Watson spoke out after the Texans dealt Hopkins to the Cardinals in 2020.

“I definitely was hurt when we let [Hopkins] go,” Watson said on Carmelo Anthony’s YouTube series “What’s In Your Glass.” “That’s my brother, that’s my dog. But that’s part of the business. Something I can’t control.”

Watson had to shake off some rust last season after 700 days away from football. In six games, Watson passed for 1,102 yards, seven touchdowns and five interceptions, with the Browns going 3-3 in his starts.

Watson Has Solid Top Option in Amari Cooper

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He built some solid chemistry with Amari Cooper, who was battling through an injury late in the year. He caught 21 balls in the six games Watson was at QB, including a 105-yard, two-touchdown performance on January 1 against the Commanders.

Cooper finished his first year with the Browns with 78 catches for 1,160 yards and nine touchdowns — which is extra impressive when you consider the Browns shaky QB situation for most of the year.

“Scored a lot of touchdowns and made some plays. I am really the type of player that oftentimes reflects back on the plays I didn’t make,” Cooper said. “I definitely feel like I left plays out there, but that is why we practice and that is why we work hard in the offseason so we can come back the next season and be better. That is what I plan on doing.”

The Browns should have a veteran wide receiver on their radar in free agency to combine with Cooper and Donovan Peoples-Jones. Whether it’s Hopkins is still to be determined.

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