Browns Trade Speculation Swirls Around Deshaun Watson’s Former Top Target

Deshaun Watson and DeAndre Hopkins.

Getty Images Deshaun Watson and DeAndre Hopkins.

The Cleveland Browns need some help at the wide receiver position and DeAndre Hopkins — one of Deshaun Watson’s former top targets — is expected to be traded this offseason.

The Cardinals are planning to deal their No. 1 wide receiver this offseason, per Jordan Schultz of theScore. Hopkins is a three-time First-Team All-Pro selection and has six thousand-yard seasons to his name. However, he’s coming off some rough years that have been hampered by injury and suspension. He played in just nine games this season with the Cardinals, notching 717 yards on 64 grabs with three touchdowns.

With quarterback Kyler Murray expected to miss at least part of next season after an ACL injury and the Cardinals firing head coach Kliff Kingsbury, it’s clear the Cardinals are ready to press the reset button.

Hopkins has two years and $34.36 million left on his contract but is in search of a new deal, per Schultz. The Browns made a move for Amari Cooper last offseason and quickly restructured his deal to create more cap space.

Hopkins also has a no-trade clause, so he controls where he will go next. A reunion with Watson in Cleveland should sound enticing but it’ll come down to money.

Twitter Speculates on Browns Making Move for Hopkins

The idea of Hopkins being available and the Browns in need of a wide receiver set some speculation ablaze on social media.

“Suggestions about Hopkins going to the Giants, Ravens and Patriots make sense. But what about a reunion in Cleveland with Deshaun?” Dave Richard of CBS Sports tweeted.

Watson and Hopkins played together for in Houston for some big years. Hopkins gained 4,115 total yards with Watson at the helm for the Texans, including a monster 1,572-yard season in 2018.

“Mr. Hopkins just became available via trade. If the Cleveland Browns don’t pair these two up for a super bowl run they’d be missing out,” another user wrote.

Some were not as bullish on pulling the trigger on a deal.

“I’m all for big trades and big names, But DeAndre Hopkins doesn’t really fit what the Browns need, imo,” Ben Axelrod of WKYC tweeted.

The Browns already have Amari Cooper as their top option and are coming off a failed experiment with both Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry at their disposal. While the thought of bringing in Hopkins might be intriguing, the truth is that the Browns have other holes that need more immediate attention.

Browns Feel They Have Resources to Bolster Roster

The Browns have some big contracts on the books next season, including Watson, Myles Garrett, Denzel Ward and Nick Chubb. They also gave up a haul of first-round picks in the deal for Watson, which has limited their war chest when it comes to a landscape-shifting move.

That being said, Browns GM Andrew Berry made it clear in his end-of-year press conference that they still have the resources to make fruitful moves.

“We will have more than enough in terms of resources, picks, dollars and cap space to fortify the roster in the areas that we need to,” Berry said on January 9.

The Browns have a big need at defensive tackle and linebacker to address. But if they want to take a big swing, Hopkins will be available.

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