NFL Rumors: Insider clarifies DeAndre Hopkins' potential team-up with Aaron Rodgers
ESPN NFL reporter Dianna Russini cleared the actual score on DeAndre Hopkins potentially signing with the New York Jets to play with Aaron Rodgers.
She said in a recent appearance on 'Get Up':
“Normally, when Greeny [Mike Greenberg] sits here, I just tell him what he wants to hear. ‘Yes, the Jets are all-in; they signed Hopkins yesterday.’ The Jets are not interested in DeAndre Hopkins at this point, by the way.”
The Arizona Cardinals released the five-time Pro Bowl wide receiver after three seasons. Earlier in the offseason, the Cardinals were looking to trade him, but no suitable offer materialized.
The timing of his release means that the Cardinals will be absorbing his entire $22.6 million dead money value this season. If they let go of him after June 1, they could spread that amount until 2024, when his previous contract would have ended.
Russini’s statement negates the possibility of Hopkins joining the Jets after recently following some of the team’s players on Instagram.
Now that he’s a free agent, he can sign with any team he wants, granted that the franchise has enough cap space to meet his lofty contract demands.
While the value he seeks is unknown, Hopkins would want something similar to the deal Odell Beckham Jr. signed this offseason with the Baltimore Ravens.
The Super Bowl LVI champion wideout signed a one-year, $15 million contract with the Baltimore Ravens and could earn up to $18 million through incentives.
The New York Jets would have been an excellent fit for DeAndre Hopkins
The five-time All-Pro from Clemson previously outlined some considerations for his next team. In a recent appearance on the 'I Am Athlete' podcast, DeAndre Hopkins said he’d like the team to have stable management.
He also wanted the franchise he’ll sign with to have a great defensive unit and a quarterback who loves that game.
The Jets check all of Hopkins’ criteria. Woody Johnson has owned the team since January 2020, while general manager Joe Douglas has done a masterful job rebuilding the team since 2019.
New York’s AFC squad also has defensive playmakers like Carl Lawson, D.J. Reed, Quinnen Williams, and 2022 Defensive Rookie of the Year Sauce Gardner.
Finally, the Jets traded for QB Aaron Rodgers this offseason, a four-time NFL MVP and a five-time All-Pro member. Despite several injuries, the 39-year-old quarterback has incredibly missed only one game since 2018.
More importantly, the Jets have $24 million in cap space, likely enough to meet Hopkins’ contract demands. Signing him would give them an explosive receiving corps with Mecole Hardman Jr., Allen Lazard, and 2022 Offensive Rookie of the Year Garrett Wilson.
However, teams interested in acquiring him must note that he missed 15 games over the last two seasons. An MCL tear limited him to 10 games in 2021.
While a year later, he sat out six games for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs. He also missed the Cardinals’ last two regular season games due to a knee injury.
Though he was limited to nine games, DeAndre Hopkins finished with 64 receptions for 717 yards and three touchdowns.