In case you missed it, former Arizona Cardinals and Houston Texans star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins is officially a free agent, and the Kansas City Chiefs are among the odds-on favorites to land him on the open market.
According to DraftKings Sportsbook, the Chiefs have the second-best odds of signing Hopkins at +400, behind the AFC rival Buffalo Bills (+250). KC has also been named as a “best fit” for the playmaker on sites like ESPN and Bleacher Report, and Hopkins listed Patrick Mahomes II as one of five quarterbacks that he’d enjoy playing with in 2023.
All of this caused Las Vegas Raiders beat reporter Tashan Reed (The Athletic) to voice a hysterical admission on May 26. “If Hopkins goes to the Chiefs we might as well just fast forward through the 2023 season,” he joked — but is this statement that far off from the truth for Raider Nation?
After all, Mahomes and the Chiefs just accomplished an NFL MVP and their second Super Bowl under head coach Andy Reid with JuJu Smith-Schuster as their top wideout. By comparison, Hopkins should elevate this offense even higher.
Either way though, KC will enter the season as big favorites over the Raiders in 2023 once again — and that’s the real root of this comment.
Latest News on DeAndre Hopkins to Chiefs in Free Agency
After the Cardinals released Hopkins, Sports Illustrated NFL insider Albert Breer released some new information on the Chiefs pursuit of the former three-time All-Pro.
“The Chiefs received permission to talk with DeAndre Hopkins earlier in the offseason and spoke to him before the draft, per sources,” Breer informed. “Contract was the hurdle, and to do it now, price would have to come way down. KC likes him, but the deal they gave Donovan Smith makes $$$ tough.”
Chiefs Wire insider Charles Goldman echoed this sentiment while reacting to the Hopkins cut.
“Whether D-Hop ends up with the Chiefs will be all about him & his perceived market,” Goldman replied. “Kansas City will be interested, but only at a certain price and term. We just heard this week how competitive Reid and Mahomes feel the WR room is. I don’t see them getting into a bidding war.”
When it comes to Hopkins, the key will be how much other teams are willing to spend. “His perceived market,” as Goldman puts it.
After the news on May 26, NFL insider Mike Giardi reported that “Buffalo has had interest” and “the [New England] Patriots have had interest.” He went on: “Best I can tell, no one believes he is what he once was, and that will be part of the challenge in acquiring the player. A couple of teams I spoke with before the draft believe $$$ will be the driver in this, more so than a ring.”
ESPN NFL Insider Jeremy Fowler Discusses DeAndre Hopkins to the Chiefs
As mentioned in the open, Kansas City was labeled one of five “best fits” for Hopkins in free agency according to ESPN NFL insider Jeremy Fowler — not including his “wild card” possibilities.
Here is what the respected insider had to say about Hopkins to the Chiefs:
“This is a similar outlook to Buffalo, a contending team with a high-level young passer and, on paper, a receiver need, and a team that has been linked to Hopkins in recent months. To mild surprise, I haven’t gotten the sense Kansas City is desperate for receiver help. The Chiefs believe Kadarius Toney can be the No. 1. The sliding scale on which Kansas City is willing to pay hinges partly on the faith in second-round picks Skyy Moore (2022) and Rashee Rice (2023). And like with Buffalo, cap space is a problem for the Chiefs, who enter the weekend with $1.6 million.”
Since they appear to be the major competition when it comes to Hopkins, below is what Fowler wrote regarding the Bills:
“The feeling among some in the league is that the Bills have been lurking here. Hopkins could be a missing piece for an offense that’s firmly in a championship window, and he is intrigued by the idea of playing with Josh Allen. A Hopkins-Stefon Diggs combination on the outside would keep starting cornerbacks dizzy. But if he wants money close to the $19.45 million he was due in Arizona, that could be a nonstarter for the Bills, who have $2.4 million in cap space. Buffalo would need to get creative to fit Hopkins on the books.”