NFL Insider Shoots Down Jets Trade for $58 Million Talent

New York Jets fans

Getty An NFL insider crushed a recent New York Jets fan dream.

After New York Jets cornerback Sauce Gardner revealed that he’s spoken to superstar WR DeAndre Hopkins, fans ran with the idea that Gang Green is in on a trade for the $57.8 million talent.

When “The Pat McAfee Show” followed up on this rumor with NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport, however, the tapped in reporter pretty much refuted the story altogether. “Have not heard the Jets with DeAndre Hopkins,” Rapoport stated.

He then explained why a Hopkins to the Jets trade is unlikely to happen, voicing: “I don’t — the Jets have, I mean they signed two receivers in free agency [Allen Lazard and Mecole Hardman], they might still draft one, they still have Corey Davis, obviously I think Garrett Wilson is going to be really, really good… I think they’re actually okay at receiver — I viewed Odell [Beckham Jr.] as more of like a cherry on the top of the [WR room]. So, I don’t think that they’re going to replace not getting Odell with something, I think he would have been like, almost extra.”

Rapoport did add that he thinks “it’s still possible” that the Arizona Cardinals trade Hopkins, and that any deal will likely happen closer to the NFL Draft. He just does not believe general manager Joe Douglas and the Jets are in on this target based on what he’s heard.

NFL Analysts Debate Jets as Viable Landing Spot for DeAndre Hopkins

Yahoo Sports’ writers Matt Harmon and Charles McDonald also touched on this topic on April 13, concluding that the Aaron Rodgers trade would have to occur before a Hopkins pursuit.

“The conditional part I’m assuming has to do with them landing Aaron Rodgers,” McDonald reasoned. “Because I don’t really see why this would be an appealing situation for really either party if they don’t land Aaron Rodgers, because once you– once you get Aaron Rodgers, or are on the finish line, or, as Joe Douglas said at a fan event like a week or two ago– or a week and a half ago– he’s coming.”

McDonald continued: “Once you get Aaron Rodgers, the clock accelerates on what you’re trying to do. Basically, you’re trying to win a Super Bowl this year, so yeah. If you can get Aaron Rodgers, hell yeah, trade for DeAndre Hopkins. Then you’re looking at Garrett Wilson, Allen Lazard, and DeAndre Hopkins with Aaron Rodgers? That’s, you know, about as– as good as the Jets can get at this point in the offseason, so, you know, conditionally interested I think makes sense.”

The “conditionally interested” comment is referencing an opinion from Sports Illustrated NFL insider Albert Breer during a mailbag column this week, in case you missed it. “I’d say yes, conditionally. That is, I think the Jets are going to do everything they can to go all in around Aaron Rodgers the way, say, the Buccaneers went all in around Tom Brady over the past three years,” Breer replied to a fan on April 12, sparking up trade rumors.

Realistically, Breer’s response always felt more like theory than fact though.

The financials are the big hold up for the Green & White with Hopkins, just as they were with Beckham.

“The Jets were absolutely in on OBJ. They just weren’t in on him at $15 million for a single year,” Breer admitted during his mailbag answer. “DeAndre Hopkins is due $15.09 million in cash this year, and $19.45 million in cash next year. He’s five months older than Beckham and he, like Beckham, has a lot of miles on his legs and a significant injury history, and it’s been a few years since he played a full season. So I get why they’d balk at paying Beckham $15 million for a year, and that’s exactly where Hopkins’ price tag is for 2022.”

More Changes for Jets at WR?

No position group has been overhauled in 2023 like the Jets WR corps — well, except for the quarterback room. So far, Elijah Moore, Braxton Berrios and Jeff Smith are gone while Lazard and Hardman have arrived.

There’s also an expectation that either Davis or former second-round draft pick Denzel Mims will not make the Week 1 roster. Both are potential cap casualties that could also be traded if a viable suitor emerges — which includes the Green Bay Packers in a Rodgers deal. If Davis stays, it’s unlikely Mims does too.

Wilson, Irvin Charles, Diontae Spencer and Malik Taylor round out the current WR unit. As Rapoport alluded, however, Douglas could easily draft or sign one or two rookies that fit Nathaniel Hackett’s new system.

That’s a lot of competition for five or six roster spots— supporting the theory that the Jets won’t feel the need to prioritize Hopkins in 2023.

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