49ers Check Many of DeAndre Hopkins’ Free Agent Wish List Boxes

DeAndre Hopkins, San Francisco 49ers

Getty DeAndre Hopkins congratulating Brandon Aiyuk for a San Francisco 49ers win.

After unsuccessfully attempting to find a trade through the first few months of the 2023 NFL calendar year, the Arizona Cardinals have officially parted ways with DeAndre Hopkins, cutting the five-time Pro Bowler with a post-June 1st release.

Suddenly free to sign with any team across the NFL, fans of the San Francisco 49ers have already begun to lobby the Texans legend to bring his talents to the Bay Area, with dozens of tweets flooding Twitter upon the news announcement.

Would Hopkins actually consider signing with the 49ers? Fortunately, fans don’t have to pontificate too wildly, as the wide receiver himself named off what he’s looking for in a new team on the “I AM ATHLETE” podcast shortly before his release.

“What I want is stable management upstairs,” Hopkins said via NFL.com. “I think that’s something that I haven’t really had the past couple years of my career coming from Houston to being in Arizona; I’ve been through three to four GMs in my career. … A QB who loves the game, a QB who brings everybody on board with him, pushes not just himself but people around him. I don’t need a great QB — I’ve done it with subpar QBs — just a QB who loves the game like I do. And a great defense. I think defense wins championships.

“For me, that’s it: great management, a QB who loves the game, and a great defense.”

Though the 49ers don’t have an established quarterback who tops jersey sales or draws a ton of credit outside of California, if Hopkins appreciates the passion Brock Purdy brings to the table, being the only Mr. Irrelevant to lead his team to the NFC Championship game, San Francisco checks all of the other boxes on the former Cardinal’s list.

DeAndre Hopkins Likes the NFL’s Young QB Talents

Discussing the prospects of playing outside of Arizona further on the ” I AM ATHLETE” podcast, Hopkins was asked about which young quarterbacks he enjoys watching in the NFL right now and effectively ran through the top names in the league right now.

“One of my favorite quarterbacks I’ve been watching since he came in the league is [Buffalo Bills QB] Josh Allen,” Hopkins said via CBS Sports. “He reminds me of a new-school Andrew Luck. I love Josh Allen. [Philadelphia Eagles QB] Jalen Hurts, he’s a Houston kid, and he’s a dog. [Kansas City Chiefs QB] Patrick Mahomes is another one I would love to throw me the ball. I [also] got to go with the underdog, not as many people respect him as a throwing quarterback, but [Baltimore Ravens QB] Lamar [Jackson]. … I’m going to [also] have to go with my dude with the Chargers [Justin Herbert].”

Unfortunately, Purdy, Sam Darnold, and Trey Lance were not on that list, with Hopkins opting to instead shout out more established Pro Bowlers and All-Pros. Still, that hasn’t stopped writers and fans alike from linking the 49ers to Hopkins, as the prospects of linking the 30-year-old former All-Pro looking to win a ring before he hangs up his cleats to Kyle Shanahan’s squad appears just too enticing to pass up.

The San Francisco 49ers Are Already Linked to Hopkins

Despite lacking that big-named, high-paid starting quarterback, CBS Sports’ Garrett Podell still believes the 49ers should be considered a favorite to land Hopkins, putting the team fourth on his top-seven landing spots list, according to All Cardinals FN.

“The San Francisco 49ers don’t have the quarterback profile Hopkins is looking for in second-year quarterback Brock Purdy, third-year quarterback Trey Lance, or young journeyman Sam Darnold,” Donnie Druin transcribed Podell saying.” However, they have arguably the most-loaded offensive ecosystem in the NFL with Christian McCaffrey at running back, Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk at wide receiver, George Kittle at tight end, Trent Williams at left tackle, and head coach Kyle Shanahan calling plays… With Purdy healthy, Hopkins would enjoy plenty of room to roam in San Francisco’s offensive attack.”

If Hopkins wants to stay close to Houston and Phoenix, likes the NFC West but would like to return to the playoffs for the first time since 2019, signing with San Francisco should be in consideration for the three-time All-Pro alongside other powerhouses like the Philadelphia Eagles and Buffalo Bills.

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