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DeAndre Hopkins To Meet With The Titans, not exactly a “Super Bowl Contender”
PLUS: NFL Using Tom Brady To Get The “Please Stop Gambling” Message Across
In today’s newsletter:
DeAndre Hopkins to meet with the Titans
Josh Allen on cover of Madden 24
NFL Using Brady to get gambling message across to players
More news from around the league
DeAndre Hopkins To Meet With The Titans, not exactly a “Super Bowl Contender”
It’s June 8th and DeAndre Hopkins has still not signed with an NFL team. It’s been nearly 2 weeks since he was released by the Arizona Cardinals. It’s possible that teams aren’t as interested as Hopkins thought they would be. If he had already gotten a sizable offer from a competitive team, my guess would be that it’d already be a done deal. But that has yet to happen.
News broke yesterday afternoon that he’ll be taking his first official visit. He’ll be meeting with the Tennessee Titans per Tom Pelissero.
The Titans are not what you’d call a “Super Bowl Contender”. They’re a team on the decline. After going 12-4 and losing to the Joe Burrow led Cincinnati Bengals in 2021 they followed up that season with a 7-10 record in 2022. They lost their final 7 games to end the season. On December 6th they fired GM Jon Robinson and decided to replace him with Ran Carthon who started out his career as a pro scout in 2008 with the Atlanta Falcons.
It all went south when the Titans traded away AJ Brown to the Philadelphia Eagles in the 2022 NFL Draft. I still have no idea what they were thinking. It’s not like they had solid options to immediately fill the massive hole that Brown left on his way out.
Now the Titans have one of if not the worst receiver rooms in the NFL. Currently their top receiver is 2nd year player Treylon Burks. There’s no doubt Hopkins would come into Tennessee and be the clear cut #1 wide receiver.
Hopkins already has familiarity with the coaching staff.
Head coach Mike Vrabel was on the coaching staff in Houston from 2014-2017 at the same time as Hopkins. Plus the Titans new offensive coordinator Tim Kelly was the OC for the Texans in 2019, a year in which Hopkins had a very productive season in Houston finishing the year with 104 receptions, 1,165 yds, and 7 Tds.
My guess is that Hopkins could be realizing that teams like the Bills and Chiefs aren’t desperate enough to throw a boatload of money at him for his services.
I’m reminded of the quote I shared last week from Tim Graham who spoke with league executives in contact with Hopkins camp that Hopkins “preferred passer won’t supersede his preferred payout.”
You always wonder if a guy in Hopkins' position who’s already made lots of money would be willing to take a steal of a deal to go play with Mahomes or Josh Allen. More often than not guys aren’t willing to take crazy pay cuts. I don’t blame him. Most people in his position would likely have a hard time turning down millions of dollars.
If he signs with the Titans he’ll join a unit ranked 28th in scoring offense last year. Ryan Tannehill and Derrick Henry are solid players but still weren’t able to make up for the lack of talent on the Titan’s offense in 2022. Hopkins would be a big add for the Titans and would immediately take their receiver room up another level.
Josh Allen On Cover of Madden 24
I can’t imagine what it’s like being on the cover of the game you grew up playing as a kid. I remember the summers I’d spend playing madden non stop. Those were the days.
Here’s how Josh Allen reacted to the news per Michael Rothstein of ESPN,
"It's such a small group of people who have ever touched the face of Madden, so now to be on that list, it's very surreal. It's very humbling. To think about where I was not too long ago and coming out of high school with zero offers, going to junior college and have one offer, University of Wyoming of all places, and then fast-forward to now.”
NFL Using Tom Brady To Get The “Please Stop Gambling” Message Across
Earlier in the week the NFL started investigating Colts cornerback Isaiah Rodgers for allegedly breaking the NFL player’s gambling policy. This is after multiple players on the Lions and Commanders already were handed lengthy suspensions of 6 games to 1 year for breaking the policy.
According to Mike Kils of 9news.com Tom Brady filmed an introductory message for the NFL’s gambling education video warning them not to gamble.
It’s hard for me to imagine that seeing Tom Brady will suddenly cause an NFL player debating gambling to say, “Okay, this convinced me. Tom said it, so I won’t do it.”
My guess is that seeing fellow NFL player’s get hefty suspensions is going to scare most players away from even getting close to violating any rule. The NFL knows they can’t be light on NFL players betting on their own games because it brings into question the integrity of the sport.
More News From Around The League
Jets DT Solomon Thomas on the effect Aaron Rodgers has had in the locker room.
“The room is buzzing right now — the building is buzzing — and it’s buzzing for a reason. You bring in a solidified Hall of Famer like Aaron Rodgers and it’s going to change some things. His leadership, his knowledge, the way he plays the game — you know he’s going to put up points and you know he’s going to play smart football. It brings a whole new youthfulness around this team, even for the vets.” (via ESPN)
This is what you call the “Aaron Rodgers Effect”. I can’t imagine the night and day difference going from Zach Wilson to Aaron Rodgers. The Jets management knew that Rodgers would change the organization in an instant. Similar to how Tom Brady’s arrival in Tampa Bay shifted player’s expectations overnight.
Deshaun Watson says he’s confident heading into 2022.
“If you stopped doing something for so long, you just naturally lose that confidence because you haven't been playing at that level. So, you forget, your body and your muscle memory, forget how fast and how to do things. ... Whenever I got back on the field last year, I was building that confidence up. ... Having this offseason and being full throttle, [the confidence has] definitely have caught back up with me." (via Jake Trotter ESPN)
Watson got the most guaranteed money for a QB in NFL history but didn’t play like it in the 6 games he started in 2022. It’s likely that he’s knocked the rust off and could get back to his top tier form in 2023. If he doesn’t, it could end up being one of the worst moves in NFL history. The Browns are crossing their fingers that things turn around.
Browns RB Nick Chubb is playing for Jim Brown who passed away in May
“The most impactful thing is probably just stand for what you believe in. He was a strong man. He stood for a lot of things, and he was himself. I think that’s the biggest thing I take from him. Just always be true to yourself. . . . I’m definitely playing for him from here on out” (via the team’s website)
The Sale of the Washington Commanders Will Likely Be Done In The Next Couple Months
“The Washington Commanders sale to the Josh Harris group could be completed in the next "month to two months at the most," Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay, a member of the NFL's finance committee, said after meeting with Harris and one of his partners, Mitchell Rales, in New York on Wednesday.” (via John Keim and Stephen Holder of ESPN)
Random Stat Of The Day
Patrick Mahomes is already 10th in career playoff passing yards with 4,084.
Random Question Of The Day
“What issue will you always speak your mind about?”
If Aaron Rodgers had Tom Brady’s defenses over the years he’d have at least 3 super bowls. Brady was always blessed with top tier defenses. Aaron Rodgers on the other hand experienced many sub par defenses over the years. I really do wonder how many super bowls Aaron would have won if he had played in New England.
That’s all for today!
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