Top Packers Trade Target, 5-Time All-Pro Released: Report

Getty The Green Bay Packers could make a run at DeAndre Hopkins, who is now a free agent.

The Green Bay Packers have needed a veteran wide receiver this offseason to serve as a mentor for their young playmakers, and one has suddenly become available after being released.

With the Arizona Cardinals expected to enter a rebuild, several key veterans have requested a trade, including star wideout DeAndre Hopkins. Although Hopkins denied those rumors heading into the draft, the five-time All-Pro will still be playing elsewhere in 2023.

ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter tweeted on Friday, May 26 that the Cardinals had released Hopkins from his contract, making him a free agent. The 30-year-old will now have his choice of teams to sign with, rather than having to wait on the Cardinals to facilitate a trade.

The Packers have previously been mentioned as a team that could trade for Hopkins, but now they’ll try to lure him to Green Bay despite limited cap space.

Would DeAndre Hopkins Choose Green Bay?

While the Packers may not have the cap space to afford a top-tier wide receiver, the team does check other boxes for Hopkins as he looks for his next team.

Prior to his release, Hopkins appeared on Brandon Marshall’s “I Am Athlete” podcast and was asked about what he wants from his next team. According to NFL insider Ari Meirow, the 30-year-old is looking for a team with stable management, a passionate quarterback, and a great defense.

There might not be another NFL franchise with as stable of management as the Packers. Brian Gutekunst took over as general manager in 2018 after a 12-year stint by the late Ted Thompson. The current Packers GM appears to be firmly in control of the franchise despite the departures of Davante Adams and Aaron Rodgers over the past few seasons.

While it’s impossible for people on the outside to know about Jordan Love’s passion for the game of football, the team does boast plenty of talent on defense, with seven first-round picks under contract on that side of the ball.

The Packers Have Had Bad Luck With Star Receivers

Unfortunately, other teams with similar situations (and likely more cap space) are more likely to land Hopkins than the Packers, and this isn’t the first time that this has happened.

Future Hall of Fame wide receiver Julio Jones had expressed interest in joining the Packers last offseason, but was lured to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers thanks to Tom Brady. Green Bay has also been linked to Odell Beckham Jr. over the past couple seasons, while Aaron Rodgers himself has even tried to lure OBJ back to New York.

Instead, Beckham has signed elsewhere over the last few years, most recently with the Baltimore Ravens for 2023.

The Packers will likely have to rely on their young receivers to grow and develop along with Love next season and beyond. Christian Watson has shown serious flashes of being a star wideout, but others like Romeo Doubs, Samori Toure, Jayden Reed, and Dontayvion Wicks will have to compete with each other for playing time while trying to develop into reliable pass catchers.

Gutekunst and Matt LaFleur appear to be ok with letting the young wide receivers battle it out, so it’s unlikely that Hopkins will be coming to Green Bay despite now being a free agent.

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