In the eyes of many, the Las Vegas Raiders downgraded at quarterback with the decision to replace Derek Carr with Jimmy Garoppolo. The latter has a much better winning percentage while the former is a more talented thrower. While Garoppolo is a serviceable starter, he may be the fourth-best quarterback in the AFC West.
One way to overcome a deficiency at quarterback is to give him as many weapons on offense as possible. The Raiders already have a very good wide receiver corps headlined by Davante Adams, Hunter Renfrow and Jakobi Meyers. There might be a way to make it even better. The Arizona Cardinals have been taking trade calls on five-time Pro Bowl wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins but haven’t reached a deal with a team yet. Alex Ballentine of Bleacher Report pitched a scenario where the Raiders trade for Hopkins by sending Arizona a 2023 third-round pick and a 2024 fourth-round pick:
There are two ways to build a strong passing attack in the NFL: You either have a great quarterback who can elevate a good receiving corps or a good quarterback who gets a ton of support from a great receiving corps.
It wouldn’t get much better than a duo of Davante Adams and DeAndre Hopkins.
Hopkins has struggled with injuries, but he has proved he’s still a top receiver when healthy. Adams is still one of the most prolific receivers in the league. A Raiders receiving corps with both would instantly become a top-three unit.
Raiders May Need to Add Hunter Renfrow in Hopkins Trade
Adding Hopkins to a group that already has Adams, Renfrow and Meyers may not be possible. Each of the three is making over $10 million in salary in 2023. If the Raiders did want to add Hopkins to the offense, they would likely have to include Renfrow in a deal. The team could swap Renfrow’s $32.3 million contract for Hopkins’ $54.5 million. It’s not an even swap but the Raiders could figure out ways to fit Hopkins’ salary under the cap.
The addition of Meyers gives Las Vegas a replacement as a slot receiver. The Cardinals could be interested in adding Renfrow. They are in the midst of a rebuild and swapping a 30-year-old wide receiver for a 27-year-old one should be appealing.
Hopkins Would Give Raiders Elite WR Corps
The Raiders wide receiver corps is already very good but adding Hopkins could make it the best in the NFL. He had a period where he was considered the best wide receiver in the league. Adams is arguably the best wide receiver now so putting the two together would give the Raiders a borderline unstoppable duo. The last two years have been tough for Hopkins as he battled through injury and suspension.
Perhaps an opportunity to be the No. 2 wide receiver on a team would allow him to return to form. Adams would be getting many of the double teams which would open things up for Hopkins. Garoppolo isn’t the most talented quarterback in the AFC West but giving him a plethora of elite weapons to work with would keep the Raiders’ offense competitive. The team still needs to fix the defense but they could use the draft to upgrade that side of the ball.
Signing Hopkins at this stage (age) of his career, w/his salary & recent history w/injuries? Why?
The money could be better spent on someone (or others) who could make a huge difference on the defensive side of the ball, where they need so much help.