As of Thursday, June 1, the closest a former member of the Arizona Cardinals will get to the Los Angeles Rams is ex-head coach Kliff Kingsbury being invited to their practices — which was seen on Wednesday, May 31.
Free agent DeAndre Hopkins is already considered a longshot to head inside the “Rams House.” But now, one insider revealed Hopkins likely won’t become teammates with two former Rams starters either.
Hopkins to Bills a ‘Long Shot,’ Insider Says
Via Tim Graham of The Athletic, the perennial Pro Bowl wide receiver “probably isn’t joining the Buffalo Bills.”
The Bills have been jokingly dubbed the L.A. Rams East by fans for taking in past Ram stars — a la Von Miller in the 2022 offseason and in 2023, added former Rams safety and member of the Super Bowl 56 team Taylor Rapp. The Bills also once had Rodger Saffold on the offensive line (last played in 2022) and briefly had wide receiver and Ex-Ram Tavon Austin.
Hopkins’ name had been floating around as an idea for “Bills Mafia” the moment he expressed having interest down the road in possibly playing with Josh Allen with I Am Athlete. The Bills were also considered one of the teams facing the highest odds in landing “D-Hop” as he remains without an NFL home.
However, Graham spoke with three unnamed executives with direct knowledge of the Hopkins situation. The conclusion drawn for the Bills? They simply don’t have the money to accommodate Hopkins.
“One of those sources called Buffalo ‘a long shot’ to land Hopkins,” Graham reported. “The Arizona Cardinals released him last week, snuffing a contract with a base salary of $19.45 million this season. Two of the executives said Hopkins wants a deal similar to what the Baltimore Ravens gave Odell Beckham Jr., who signed a one-year deal worth $15 million guaranteed with another $3 million in incentives.”
The Bills were once considered a potential landing spot via trade, as Sports Illustrated NFL insider Albert Breer revealed the Bills being among the interested in adding “D-Hop.” Money, however, was a determining factor in backing away. The Athletic also confirmed that Hopkins spoke to general manager of the Bills, Brandon Beane.
But now, Hopkins’ chances of being around the Bills are diminishing. And they’re not the only ones.
Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy helped squash the idea of his team adding Hopkins, telling the Dallas media Thursday “I really like the look of our (wide receiver) group. The vertical speed is definitely — you know, we made some improvement there.”
Rams Assistant Loves Maturity of Rookie, Saying There’s No ‘Babying’ Needed
As mentioned before, the addition of Puka Nacua via the 2023 draft helps erase the thought of Hopkins coming on board.
Turns out the BYU Cougar is already winning over his newest offensive coordinator not just through his play, but maturity.
Speaking with reporters following the Wednesday OTAs practice, Mike LaFleur revealed what he likes so far from the late-round find by the Rams.
“He’s a good-sized kid. He’s got a good frame to him. He catches the ball really effortlessly,” LaFleur stated. “He can stay grounded through the catch and so he is doing a good job with it. And particularly moving him around quite a bit, not babying him at all with the motions and the alignments and stuff like that and so he’s doing a good job.”
LaFleur adds how he loves the fact Nacua is among a group of newcomers who have chosen to “swim” with the Rams.
“You can tell, all you have to do is look at these – especially the young guys – just look at their eyes when they’re in the huddle and you can tell the guys that are swimming, the guys that aren’t and he definitely has a calm demeanor about himself and is fitting in nicely,” LaFleur said.
In the absence of Cooper Kupp, the 177th overall selection has gotten a chance to earn some valuable reps near Cal Lutheran at Thousand Oaks. Nacua has gotten his share of targets from Matthew Stafford while also working with fellow rookie Stetson Bennett.