DeAndre Hopkins is expected to be one of the most talked about trade targets this offseason and Cleveland Browns QB Deshaun Watson would be happy to reunite with his former top target.
Watson joined his private quarterback coach Quincy Avery on “The Q with Quincy Avery” for a rare offseason interview and talked about the potential of adding Hopkins via trade.
“Once you kind of know, you just kind of communicate with him, nothing too serious,” Watson said. “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.”
Watson could use another Pro Bowl-caliber weapon on his side. The Browns have Amari Cooper as their No. 1 pass-catcher but need additional depth around him to help the passing game reach the next level.
“Well it just really depends on if they’re serious or not as far as kind of like if we can really get him, so that’s something that you’ve got to be able to look at overall — cap space, pay, different things like that,” Watson said.
Strong Connection Between Hopkins, Watson
As Watson mentioned, there’s history between the two, having combined for some stellar years in Houston, with both players establishing themselves as stars.
Hopkins gained 4,115 total yards with Watson at the helm for the Texans, including a monster 1,572-yard season in 2018. 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 a suspension for PED use. He played in just nine games this season with the Cardinals, notching 717 yards on 64 grabs with three touchdowns.
When he returned to the lineup last season, Watson showed some very visible rust after almost two years away from the game. He played the final six games for the Browns, with the team going 3-3. Watson — who led the league in passing yards in 2020 — showed glimpses of his Pro Bowl form but completed 58.2% of his passes for 1,102 yards and seven touchdowns with five interceptions.
Cardinals Still ‘Evaluating’ Hopkins Situation
The Cardinals are “still evaluating” the situation with Hopkins, who carries a $30 million cap hit in 2023. A new regime came into Arizona this offseason, with Jonathan Gannon taking over as the head coach and Monti Ossenfort as general manager.
“I had a great talk with D-Hop a couple weeks ago,” Ossenfort said, via the team’s official website. “I explained to him what my philosophy was. It was a great conversation. D-Hop has been a great player in this league for a long time. I’m excited to work with him. I think any roster decisions like that, we are in the very early stages right now.
“From afar, I’ve had to compete against — not me personally, but I’ve [worked] for teams that have to compete against D-Hop, I know what a problem and a stress he puts on defenses. I’m excited to have D-Hop on the team. Whether it’s D-Hop’s situation or anyone’s situation, we are in the stages of evaluating that.”
Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray is expected to miss at least part of the season after suffering a torn ACL. Spending a boatload of money on a wide receiver might not be the best move for Arizona with their QB situation uncertain for at least the immediate future.