NFL insider mailbag: Latest on DeAndre Hopkins, Odell Beckham Jr. and more

Every week, Sportsnaut NFL insider Benjamin Allbright will answer questions from fans involving some of the biggest stories around the league. Here’s the latest iteration.

I love answering your questions but sometimes I don’t see them all on Twitter or I’ve already answered a question. So, we decided here at Sportsnaut that we would do a regular weekly column trying to answer all your questions in one place.

The most popular question I was asked over the weekend is “Do Denver Broncos have an interest in trading for DeAndre Hopkins?” -Anthony, Noah, Payton and others:

I think everyone has “interest” in Hopkins’ talent. But as a practical matter, the Broncos currently don’t have the salary cap room. It would require either a restructure of left tackle Garrett Bolles’ contract or trading away Courtland Sutton (a possibility we’ve previously discussed). It would also require Arizona potentially paying off some of that salary. The Cardinals have not been a team willing to do things like that in the past.

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Arizona is asking for a second-round pick and more as a starting point for compensation. Obviously, the Broncos don’t have a second rounder thanks to the Russell Wilson trade. That presents an additional barrier.

Teams I’m told are interested with the possible capital to pull off a trade for Hopkins include (but aren’t limited to) the New England Patriots, New York Giants, Tennessee Titans and Atlanta Falcons.

Related: Sportsnaut’s NFL trade tracker with grades

Steven on Twitter asked, “Carolina fans love the idea of trading for Jerry Jeudy or Courtland Sutton, but we’ve also heard rumors of DJ Clark, are any of those realistic?”

NFL: Los Angeles Chargers at Denver Broncos
Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Well Steven I don’t see the Panthers trading for Jerry Jeudy since the Broncos are asking for a first rounder and Carolina has packaged everything to move up to pick No. 1 overall pick. Courtland Sutton could likely be had for a fourth rounder, and I’d suggest that is a realistic possibility.

D.J. Clark is a free agent and won’t cost and draft compensation which is always a plus. I know Carolina has had talks with him. He does have a pair of other options, including returning to Detroit. But at this moment it seems realistic that the Panthers are very much in play. I think the incoming offense there could be his best fit as well.

Related: 5 NFL trades we could still see this offseason

Christian Castillo on Twitter asked, “So are Jerry Jeudy and Courtland Sutton safe [on the Broncos] this year, or are we expecting movement?”

NFL: Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs
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Well Christian I expect some movement. I think at least one of them is traded, and it is probably Sutton. The Broncos have held fast on the compensation to acquire Jerry Jeudy (a first rounder or a high second and more). The market for teams that have a need and even could pay that is dwindling.

The Dallas Cowboys had checked in heavily but ultimately gave up significantly less to acquire Brandin Cooks. Cleveland and New England remain interested in Jeudy but have shown an unwillingness to move a first rounder for him.

On the other hand, Sutton can likely be had for a Day 3 pick. It affords Denver some cap relief and his skillset is likely redundant with Tim Patrick in the new offense Sean Payton will be running. I know of several teams interested in Sutton and would be surprised if he were not moved.

Related: Tracking where the top NFL free agents have landed

Several of you wrote in asking where Odell Beckham Jr winds up.

NFL: Buffalo Bills at Los Angeles Rams
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Truth is I’m not sure. Dallas was interested but not at his price point. There were reports that OBJ wanted $20 million a year average contract which he shot down himself saying the number wasn’t that high, but he wasn’t settling on $4 million per year, either.

Several people have written in from Cleveland asking about a reunion. And while I never want to say something is impossible, I would term that reunification as highly improbable. A much more likely scenario is Beckham reuniting with his original NFL team the New York Giants. The Giants have finally excised the Kenny Golladay mistake and could use Beckham to bolster the receiving corps for the newly minted Daniel Jones.

Several of you wrote in to ask what I thought about Carolina jumping to number one overall in the 2023 NFL Draft, and who I thought the Panthers would be selecting.

NCAA Football: Peach Bowl-Ohio State at Georgia
John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

First off, I love the move. I think any team moving to the penultimate position of power in the draft is a strong move. If you believe in a guy, do what it takes to get him.

As for the more important question of who they would select, I believe it’s two names. C.J. Stroud and Bryce Young. I think Stroud is a guy the owner has had his eye on for a bit, but there’s a scenario where they fall in love with Bryce Young.

There’s another scenario where the Panthers know Young is coveted by the Houston Texans and draft him anyway to ransom him back to the Texans to recoup some of the picks they spent getting to number one. Similar situation to the then-San Diego Chargers and Eli Manning several years ago.

As always, send your question on twitter to @AllbrightNFL or @Sportsnaut and maybe yours will be in the next weekly mailbag.

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