Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins is one of the biggest names floated in NFL trade rumors this offseason. While it remains likely that he’s playing for a new team in 2023, it isn’t expected to be the New England Patriots.
Before hiring a new general manager, Cardinals’ owner Michael Bidwill raised doubts regarding Hopkins’ future in Arizona. After consecutive injury-plagued seasons with the franchise looking for ways to create long-term financial flexibility, Hopkins landed on the trade block.
- DeAndre Hopkins career stats: 853 receptions, 11,298 receiving yards, 71 touchdowns
The All-Pro wideout recently met with new general manager Monti Osenfort to discuss his future. While there are no definitive plans to move Hopkins immediately, multiple NFL teams are monitoring the situation to see if one of the top receivers in football becomes available.
While the Patriots were once viewed as a potential landing spot, in part due to their need for a No. 1 receiver, it appears that a trade to New England is very unlikely to happen.
Jeff Howe of The Athletic wrote that it would be a ‘major surprise’ if Hopkins is traded to the Patriots. One of the biggest reasons why it’s viewed as a ‘longshot’ is because of the bad relationship between the star wideout and offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien.
O’Brien served as the Houston Texans coach and eventually general manager from 2014-’20, signing off on the Hopkins trade to Arizona that many around the league ridiculed. Prior to that, the two did not have a healthy working relationship.
“There was no relationship. Make sure you put that in there. There’s not a lot to speak about.”DeAndre Hopkins in 2020 on his relationship with Bill O’Brien
Heading into the offseason, Patriots’ top receiver Jakobi Meyers is one of the top NFL free agents in 2023. Facing the likelihood of losing him in an open market that is thin at wide receiver, New England arguably has the worst receiving corps in the NFL right now.
If Hopkins is off the table, the Patriots will likely have to take an offensive weapon early in the 2023 NFL Draft. While hiring O’Brien is expected to help quarterback Mac Jones rebound in 2023, the absence of playmakers outside of running back Rhamondre Stevenson would hinder New England’s offense next season.