Don’t Be Shocked If DeAndre Hopkins Reunites With The Texans
PLUS: Bills “Long Shot” To Sign Hopkins, How Rookie QB CJ Stroud Is Progressing, Tom Brady Makes It Clear That He’s not coming back
I started writing this NFL newsletter this week, and I’m really enjoying it. Every day the odds are increasing that this continues.
Sometimes something sounds exciting and then you start it and realize it may not be for you. So far it’s feeling like this is something I will actually enjoy doing for the foreseeable future.
It’s fun to jump outside of what you normally do and try something different.
In today’s NFL newsletter:
Bills “Long Shot” To Sign DeAndre Hopkins
Texans One Team Hopkins Is Interested In
How Rookie QB CJ Stroud Is Progressing
Brady Makes It Clear That He’s not coming back
New Report That Bills Are “Long Shot” To Sign DeAndre Hopkins
This week the NFL landscape has been filled with continuous speculation regarding the future home of DeAndre Hopkins after being released by the Arizona Cardinals last Friday.
It’s not very often that a player of Hopkins caliber hits the open market come June. Oftentimes top tier free agents are already picked up by teams hungry for new talent. It’s usually the guys with more questions that stick around unsigned.
The Cardinals were hopeful that a trade could get finalized but unfortunately for them that didn’t come to fruition. Because of that they released Hopkins to free up around $8 million dollars of cap space and make their 2024 cap more manageable.
On Monday morning I shared the 5 teams with the highest betting odds to land DeAndre Hopkins. One of those teams was the Buffalo Bills.
After a new report yesterday from Tim Graham of the Athletic who spoke with league executives close to the situation, it’s not sounding very likely that Buffalo will land Hopkins.
“Three executives from around the NFL, some with direct knowledge of what the free-agent receiver wants in his next contract, inform The Athletic the Bills simply don’t have enough salary-cap room to accommodate Hopkins’ terms.”
Currently the Bills have around $1.4 million of cap space (per overthecap). Hopkins would likely need to take less than he’s worth to team up with the Bills unless they work some cap wizardry.
What kind of deal is Hopkins looking for?
According to Tim Graham this is what a couple executives believe,
“Two of the executives said Hopkins wants a deal similar to what the Baltimore Ravens gave Odell Beckham Jr., who signed a one-year deal worth $15 million guaranteed with another $3 million in incentives.”
I’d expect Hopkins to get slightly more than OBJ who's coming off a year where he didn’t even play. There are concerns considering Hopkins has only played in 19 games in the past 2 seasons because of injuries and a 6 game PED suspension, but he’s still a top tier receiver.
Is Hopkins more concerned about his quarterback or the money?
This was one of the most telling quotes from Tim Graham’s story.
“Hopkins publicly has expressed a strong desire to play with Bills quarterback Josh Allen, but one of the league executives, who has communicated with Hopkins’ camp, said his preferred passer won’t supersede his preferred payout.”
It’s not sounding like Hopkins is willing to take a pay cut just to play with his “preferred” QB. This opens the options up for where Hopkins could end up going.
Texans Are One Team DeAndre Hopkins Is Interested In
News broke yesterday afternoon from the Houston Chronicle per Sports Illustrated Texans Daily,
“According to Brooks Kubena of The Houston Chronicle, the Texans are one of the teams that Hopkins is interested in signing with, just days after he was released by the Arizona Cardinals. It's unknown whether that interest is reciprocated by general manager Nick Caserio and new head coach DeMeco Ryans.”
Hopkins spent 7 seasons with the Texans after being drafted in round 1 in 2013. Another important factor is that his family still lives in the area.
While the Texans are far from Super Bowl contenders, they do have $16.8 million of cap space per over the cap which likely means they could afford giving him a larger contract. Add that to the fact that Hopkins reportedly cares more about his payout then his QB, and it doesn’t sound too crazy that he goes back to Texas.
I’d assume that right now Hopkins is contemplating his perfect fit. He’ll have to decide if he wants to pursue playing with a super bowl contender and likely take a pay cut, or play with a team with less upside and receive a larger contract.
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Texans Rookie QB CJ Stroud Is “Progressing Well”
If Hopkins ends up reuniting with the Texans, 2023 2nd overall pick CJ Stroud will be his quarterback. We’re only in June and players don’t even have pads on yet, but according to Texans new coach DeMeco Ryans, CJ Stroud is headed in the right direction.
“C.J. is progressing well. Each day, he continues to get better, continues to get more comfortable with the verbiage of the offense and his command of the huddle. I thought this week he has been really good; coming off of a long weekend, it was very eye-opening how on it he was. From the first day, we got back until today, he did an awesome job in our situational periods, So, he is definitely progressing in the right direction, and the sky is the limit for him.”
The Texans have dealt with turmoil and continuous losing seasons over the past few years. They haven’t won more than 4 games in a season since 2019.
The hope is that with a new coach and a talented rookie in CJ Stroud that they can build a foundation that leads to future success.
Odds are it could take some time for the investments this off-season to pay off. It’s not very often that a rookie QB comes in and immediately sets the league on fire. It’ll likely take time for everything to come together. But there’s no doubt things seem to be headed in the right direction in Houston.
If Hopkins makes the bold move to come back to Houston and the Texans welcome the reunion, things could be headed in the right direction much quicker than anticipated.
Brady Makes It Clear That He’s not coming back
When you retire once and then say psyche, I’m playing another season, it leads people to speculate that you may do it again.
Last off-season Tom Brady announced his retirement before changing his mind and returning for a final season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Yesterday he spoke with Sports Illustrated and they asked him to respond to people who think he could end up coming out of retirement once again. Here’s what he said.
"I'm certain I'm not playing again, so I've tried to make that clear and I hate to continue to profess that, cause I've already told people that lots of times"
He probably thought long and hard before announcing his retirement for the second time in his career.
My guess is that Brady stays retired this time. Of course it would be awesome for fans of the NFL for him to make a comeback once again, because who doesn’t want to watch Tom Brady play football.
But it sounds like he’s serious this time.
Random Stat Of The Day
19 NFL QBs have a better career playoff passer rating than Tom Brady and a few names may shock you: Matthew Stafford, Nick Foles, Alex Smith, Tony Romo, Dak Prescott, and Kirk Cousins are just a few.
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Have a great day and I hope you enjoy your weekend!