By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — Weapons. It’s all we talk about around here. Weapons this, weapons that. Tom Brady wants weapons. Bill Belichick wants weapons. Weapons, weapons, weapons.
Most of the time, it’s an overused cliche. But, well, down in Houston, a bona fide wwwwweapon just might be available.
NBC Sports’ Peter King dropped this little nugget in his FMIA column Monday:
It might be just pre-draft chatter, but two teams over the weekend told me to watch Houston and DeAndre Hopkins, who has three years and a reasonable $40 million left on his contract, and who’d cause only a $3-million cap hit to the Texans if they traded him.
King went so far as to speculate that … New England might get involved:
How tempting Hopkins would be, though, to teams with cap money. The Patriots, at 23, would be a fascinating match (they might need a mid- or late-round pick back with Hopkins), or the Niners at 31, Giants at 36 or Dolphins at 39.
Houston’s need across the roster is big, and it’d take a big pick to pry Hopkins. Over the last three years, Hopkins has 15 more catches, 14 more touchdowns and 12 fewer dropped passes than the great Julio Jones. Pretty tempting to consider.
Hopkins will turn 28 years old in June. His numbers dipped a bit last year, but he still caught 104 passes for 1,165 yards and seven touchdowns. In the previous two seasons, Hopkins averaged 106 receptions, 1,475 yards, and 12 touchdowns. In his seven-year career, all with the Texans, he’s caught 632 passes for 8,602 yards and 54 touchdowns. He’s made four Pro Bowls (2015, 2017-19) and he’s been named a First Team All-Pro three times (2017-19).
Hopkins has three years left on his existing contract, with a $14 million cap hit in 2020, a $15 million cap hit in 2021, and just under a $14 million cap hit in 2022.
King noted — along with seemingly every draft expert — that this year’s draft class is chock full of wide receivers, so a team may be inclined to draft a rookie instead of dedicating a large portion of the cap to Hopkins. Still, the allure of adding an All-Pro talent to an offense that was maybe just one or two wwwwweapons shy of winning a Super Bowl last year will be strong.
UPDATE: The Patriots will not be getting Hopkins. Instead, Hopkins will be going to the Arizona Cardinals.
DeAndre Hopkins and a fourth round pick go to Cards for David Johnson and a second round pick this year and a fourth round pick next year.
— John McClain (@McClain_on_NFL) March 16, 2020
Doesn’t seem like a great deal for Houston. Alas!