Fortunately for the Patriots, it happened in Boston instead of Gillette Stadium in Foxborough. Hopkins, who doesn’t eat pork, didn’t like how his seafood order turned out at a Boston restaurant.
“I accidentally ate pork for the 1st time in 8 years because I ordered clam chowder in Boston,” Hopkins wrote via social media. “Somebody should’ve told me it’s bacon chowder.”
Patriots fans jumped on the commenting below, begging Hopkins to still come to New England. One fan posted a graphic of Hopkins in a Patriots uniform.
“Bill [Belichick] will take care of it for you,” one fan, n_casey2, wrote in the comments.
Hopkins’ abstinence from pork isn’t a dietary fancy. The five-time Pro Bowler promotes Beyond Meat, a food company that promotes a plant-based diet.
“It honestly changed my life. It changed my body and my performance. These have been the best seasons I’ve ever had. I would say my performance on the field was a direct result of what I did off the field, how I treated my body and what I put in my body – which was primarily Beyond Meat,” Hopkins shared via the company’s website.
A Patriots player embracing a plant-based diet wouldn’t be an anomaly if Hopkins signs with the team. Former Patriots quarterback Tom Brady famously embraced a primarily plant-based diet with his TB12 Method.
New England needs Hopkins as No. 1 receiver to boost third-year quarterback Mac Jones after a subpar 2022 season. Jones, a No. 15 NFL Draft pick in 2021, hasn’t come close to Brady’s stature yet, and the former Alabama star has limited talent to work with among the receiving corps.
Kendrick Bourne likewise didn’t play up standards last season, and Tyquan Thornton‘s rookie season left much to be desired. Otherwise, the Patriots will look to rookie Demario Douglas and Kayshon Boutte to make an impact.
Patriots Had a Good Visit With DeAndre Hopkins, but Competition Remains
As for Hopkins, the visit with the Patriots went well overall, according to The Athletic’s Jeff Howe. Hopkins didn’t sign the contract that the Patriots offered, but the two parties have remained in contact according to ESPN’s Jeff Fowler.
New England still has competition for Hopkins. The Tennessee Titans likewise still have contact with Hopkins, according to Fowler, since the team’s visit and contract offer.
The Kansas City Chiefs could also pursue Hopkins, Fowler reported. However, the Chiefs will need to clear salary cap space in order to afford Hopkins.
DeAndre Hopkins Likely to Wait Until Training Camp to Sign With a Team
With less than three weeks left before training camp, Hopkins could wait on signing with a team right before camp begins. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport previously reported that as a realistic possibility for Hopkins.
Despite his continued production, the Arizona Cardinals released Hopkins on May 26 amid his previous $54 million contract with the team. Hopkins likely won’t receive a comparable contract according to NBC Sports Boston’s Phil Perry.
“I’m just telling you, there ain’t that much money out there,” Perry said. “DeAndre Hopkins is finding this out right now: He still hasn’t signed with anybody because the money isn’t there. Teams haven’t saved up to have as much money as you would need to pay a guy big bucks at this point in the calendar year.”