The addition of Bill O’Brien to the Patriots coaching staff is sure to bring an abundance of speculation – and some of it has already started.
New England is reportedly torn internally on the idea of bringing a bonafide number-one wide receiver into the fold on offense – but if they’re going to, Arizona’s DeAndre Hopkins will likely be an option. Here are the odds on where he will play next, according to BetOnline.ag:
DeAndre Hopkins Next Team (If Not Cardinals)
Green Bay Packers +350
Kansas City Chiefs +400
New England Patriots +450
Baltimore Ravens +500
New York Giants +600
Chicago Bears +700
Cleveland Browns +1000
Dallas Cowboys +1000
Los Angeles Chargers +1000
Jacksonville Jaguars +1200
Earlier this month, it was reported that the Cardinals plan to trade Hopkins this offseason. He has two years and $34.36 million left on his contract, and will likely seek a new deal. He also has a no-trade clause, meaning he has to approve his next destination.
The Patriots are seemingly tied to just about every potential person on the move – but Hopkins feels different, as there is an obvious, outward respect that is shown between him and Bill Belichick. When New England visited Arizona in December, NFL Films caught a conversation between the two during pregame. It sounded something like this:
BB: “I’m glad we only have to play you every four years, man… What a career you’re having. You missed half the season, you’re still going to lead the league in receiving.”
DH: “You know I do my job, man. Trying to get better.”
“I do my job.” Something we all know Belichick loves to hear.
On top of this, now-Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien was Hopkins’ head coach with the Texans from 2013-2019 – before he traded him to Arizona.
There is speculation that the two sides never got along during Hopkins’ time in Houston – but there’s always a time and a place to mend the fence. Perhaps it’s 2023 in Foxboro?
If the Patriots are serious about bringing in an A-1 guy for Mac Jones as he heads into a crucial year three, then they need to help squash the beef between O’Brien and Hopkins to make this happen. Top-tier wide receiver talent only comes around for the taking every once in a while. New England should hop on this opportunity.
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