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Report: Patriots Making A Push For DeAndre Hopkins, Visited With Team On Thursday
The Hopkins Sweepstakes Are Heating Up
Sideline Scoop is a daily NFL Newsletter giving you the newest headlines and exclusive insights every weekday morning.
In today’s newsletter:
Patriots Making Push For Hopkins
Panthers QB Bryce Young gaining respect
Chiefs get super bowl rings
JK Dobbins sits out mini camp
Bill Belichick has made it his primary goal this off-season to pick up the pieces from the sub par performance by the Patriots offense last year. I bet he’s getting tired of people harping on the idea that Brady was the real reason the Patriots were successful all those years.
I, for one, don’t think that’s the case. They were a perfect match – both key pieces in the 6 Super Bowl victories the Patriots won from 2002-2019.
But Bill’s had enough. He’s ready to take this team up a notch. First order of business, get Mac Jones a legit wide receiver.
Hopkins made his official visit with the Patriots yesterday and reports from Jeff Howe of the Athletic are that it was a “productive visit” and New England is “making a push for Hopkins”. And according to Mike Reiss of ESPN, “both sides are now expected to take some time to assess their next steps”. That has to be music to Patriots fans' ears. Hopkins even posted a photo with Patriots defender Matthew Judon in the Pats locker room with the caption “La Familia”. Interesting… very interesting…
So far only two teams have gone out of their way to schedule official visits with DeAndre Hopkins. Earlier in the week he met with the Titans and yesterday he visited the Patriots. Immediately after being released by the Cardinals in late May the Bills and Chiefs were favorites to land Hopkins according to most sports books.
Now it’s looking like the odds of him signing with either of those teams is mere fantasy. You can bet that Hopkins would love to play with Josh Allen or Patrick Mahomes, but neither franchise is desperate for his services. Allen has Diggs, and Mahomes can work his magic with anyone who has hands.
The Titans and Patriots NEED Hopkins. Yes,he’s getting up there in age, and getting closer and closer to the proverbial late stage of career production cliff, but he showed just last year that when he’s playing, he’s still one of the most productive wideouts in the league.
Belichick already made one big change that should contribute to a better offensive unit in 2023. Moving off of Matt Patricia and Joe Judge, and signing former Texans coach Bill O’brien as offensive coordinator.
The other day I commented on a random tweet that if I were Hopkins I’d sign with the Patriots. You can’t imagine all of the angry Titans fans that assumed that there was no chance that Hopkins would sign with the Patriots because of his, let’s just say, complicated history with Bill O’Brien. Here’s the thing, if Hopkins viewed O’Brien as a problem and a roadblock to him signing with the Patriots, why would he agree to a visit with his team? He wouldn’t. That’s a non issue.
Adding O’Brien was a necessary move. Mac Jones needed a lifeline. Belichick recognized that the plan for the Patriots offense last year could not continue into 2023. They needed to switch things up and fast. That’s exactly what they’ve done.
What would take them over the top is giving Mac Jones a legit wide receiver. A guy that defenses fear. That’s one thing Mac Jones has never had in his two year career. All he’s had is Jakobi Meyers. He’s a solid player, but he’s not elite. Hopkins is elite. If you want to really see what Mac Jones can be, you sign DeAndre Hopkins. And right now it sounds like that’s exactly what they’re trying to do.
News Around The NFL
Panthers QB Bryce Young Already Gaining Respect
The new kid in town is already making a difference in the locker room. Yesterday edge rusher Brian Burns had this to say about the Panthers rookie QB via David Newton ESPN.
"It's hard not to like that kid. He's put quite a stamp on the locker room. He walks around with this kind of -- excuse my language -- 'humble but I know I'm the s---' type of swag. You know? He's got it, but he's humble with it."
The Panthers have not made the playoffs since 2017 with Cam Newton. It’s been a long 6 years for Carolina. Young has a chance to put them back on the map.
Chiefs Get Super Bowl Rings
Mahomes needs to slow down with all these super bowls and save some for the rest of the league. It’s crazy that he’s only 27. He’s already going down as one of the best to ever do it. He could have another 13 years in him. If anyone is going to come close to breaking Tom Brady’s 7 super bowl wins, it looks like it’ll be Mahomes.
Ravens RB JK Dobbins Sat Out Mini Camp Practice
It’s tough being a young running back in the NFL. You experience the wear and tear early on before you ever make the big money with the second contract. Dobbins is now entering his 4th year. The final year on his rookie contract.
He was present at the Ravens facility but sat out of mini camp practice this past week and it’s not crystal clear as to why. Odds are it has to do with a potential contract dispute. Here’s what he said yesterday via Jamison Henley of ESPN,
"The business side is very hard. It's very different," Dobbins told WJZ-TV on Thursday. "You saw with Lamar [Jackson] ... It's never just roses and daisies. It can be hard at times and it's business though."
Dobbins suffered a torn ACL in 2021 and missed 6 games in 2022. He’s missed more games (27) than he’s played in (23). There’s no doubt when he’s on the field he’s one of the most productive backs in the league, averaging 5.9 yards per carry since 2020. The thing is when you don’t stay healthy you can’t expect a team to hand you a big contract. It’s a risk that many organizations are not willing to take.
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Even More News
Deion Sanders may need to have foot amputated
Antonio Brown’s arena team kicked out of the league
Chiefs DT Chris Jones holding out of mini camp
Random Stat Of The Day
Even in a down year for Aaron Rodgers in 2022 he was 2nd in on target % per pro football reference. He also had the 2nd highest passes dropped with 40.
Random Question Of The Day
“Your Favorite day of the week?”
During the football season, I’d have to go with Sunday. There’s nothing like getting out of church and then heading home to sit in front of the TV for the rest of the day to watch as many games as possible. When it’s not the football season I’d have to go with Friday. Who doesn’t love Friday?
That’s all for this week! I’ll talk to you guys on Monday.