As has been the case all offseason, the Kansas City Chiefs have been one of the main teams linked to Hopkins after his release — although nothing concrete has emerged. Sports Illustrated NFL insider Albert Breer did reveal an interesting piece of information on the three-time All-Pro WR on May 27, however.
“More on @DeAndreHopkins,” Breer relayed. “The Chiefs and [Buffalo] Bills were the only teams to have substantive trade talks with Arizona. As was the case with Kansas City, contract was the issue for Buffalo.” The final bullet point was the most intriguing. He added: “KC made progress, but @OBJ’s [Odell Beckham Jr.] deal ($15 [million] base) more or less blew that progress up.”
Ouch! Sounds like the Baltimore Ravens spurned the Chiefs twice at wide receiver this offseason — first by signing Beckham and second by overpaying him. The WR market was quite depressed before the OBJ contract, but the Ravens likely gave Hopkins a reason to ask for more.
NFL Insider Says DeAndre Hopkins to Chiefs or Bills Is ‘Unlikely’ at Current Price Tag
The Chiefs and Bills are in a very similar position financially. According to Over the Cap, both franchises rank in the bottom three in terms of available cap space at the moment.
Buffalo has a little over $1.476 million while KC has exactly $652,557. Per OTC, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are the only team that has less room financially.
This is all important when discussing Breer’s eventual prediction. “As for where [Hopkins’ market] goes next, I’d say the price will dictate that,” the S.I. insider followed up in a separate tweet. “Under current circumstances, unlikely KC or Buffalo go get him. If his price drops (both teams offered incentive-heavy deals), then … maybe.”
Breer did note that “both KC and Buffalo talked directly to Hopkins, and liked him.”
ESPN NFL Insider Names Wildcard Teams That Could Pursue DeAndre Hopkins in Free Agency
During an article breaking down the “best fits” for Hopkins, ESPN NFL insider Jeremy Fowler named several wildcard teams that could jump into the “D-Hop” sweepstakes — outside of the franchises like the Chiefs, Bills, New York Jets, New England Patriots and Dallas Cowboys that are typically talked about.
The New Orleans Saints were a unique suggestion. “Chris Olave is the primary receiver, but the Saints could use a running mate in light of Michael Thomas’ durability concerns,” Fowler reasoned. “The Saints don’t really do the tear-down rebuild thing, and with a weak NFC South, New Orleans could see an opportunity to pounce.”
“The Saints have a healthy cap outlook at $13.6 million (not that the opposite would have stopped them),” he added, “and Derek Carr is good enough to potentially entice Hopkins, who can continue playing in a dome and a warm-weather climate.”
“Atlanta has been unafraid to spend this offseason while enjoying the fruits of a quarterback on a rookie contract,” Fowler wrote regarding the latter. “Its pass-catching core is young, but the presence of Hopkins could spice up Arthur Smith’s offense. Like Cleveland, Atlanta GM Terry Fontenot has aggressively pursued signings and trades over the past three months.”