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Titans’ Mike Vrabel on DeAndre Hopkins: ‘Confident’ he’ll help

DeAndre Hopkins had 1,407 yards receiving in his first season with the Cardinals (2020), but combined for 1,289 yards in the previous two seasons.
Credit: Michael Chow / USA TODAY NETWORK

Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Vrabel on Tuesday defended his team’s reported signing of DeAndre Hopkins after the club failed in its previous attempt to bring in a veteran high-profile wide receiver.

The Titans’ previously attempted to bolster their wide receiver room in 2021 with the signing of star Julio Jones. The seven-time Pro Bowl selection, however, finished with just 31 catches for 434 yards and one touchdown in 10 games during his lone season with Tennessee.

On Sunday, multiple media outlets reported Hopkins will sign with the Titans on a two-year, $26 million contract worth up to $32 million with incentives. He reportedly will receive a base salary of $12 million in the first season with a chance to increase to $15 million.

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“I don’t think whatever happened in the past with another player is going to apply to this particular player,” Vrabel said on Bussin’ With The Boys podcast. “If things come up, we’ll have to work through them. We wouldn’t have signed him or wanted to sign him if we weren’t confident he’d help us.”

Hopkins, 31, and Vrabel were together with the Houston Texans when the latter was their linebackers coach (2014-16) and defensive coordinator (2017). Hopkins met with the team in Nashville last month.

The Arizona Cardinals released Hopkins on May 26 after they reportedly failed to find a trade partner.

A three-time All-Pro and five-time Pro Bowl selection, Hopkins has 853 catches for 11,298 yards and 71 touchdowns in 145 games (all starts) with the Texans (2013-19) and Cardinals.

Hopkins had 64 catches for 717 yards with three touchdowns during a 2022 season in which he missed the first six games while serving a suspension for violating the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy. He sat out the final two games with a knee injury.

Since trading A.J. Brown to the Philadelphia Eagles ahead of the 2022 season, the Titans have been looking for a new WR1. Treylon Burks, Nick Westbrook-Ikhine and Kyle Philips are the current projected starters.

This is the first major splash for new Titans general manager Ran Carthon, who was hired in January to replace Jon Robinson.

–Field Level Media

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