DeAndre Hopkins has been on the open market for nearly a week after the Cardinals last Friday, though officially became a free agent on Tuesday. The 30-year-old wasn't immediately scooped up and it appears like his market may not be as white-hot as initially thought. In fact, Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer reports that Hopkins' market has been tepid and there seems to be a divide across the league as to what he has left in the tank.
One veteran NFL executive told Breer that "not much" is left with Hopkins and added that the receiver "can't run anymore." Meanwhile, another evaluator came in with a different breakdown saying, "He's still a good player. Good route runner, big, physical target that can play a ball in the air. He's still a threat."
Then, an AFC executive sat on the fence, highlighting Hopkins' skill but also noting the risks of bringing him aboard.
"Still great hands, he is not going to separate, not much of a deep threat, but very strong, and makes contested catches as well as anyone in the NFL," the exec said. "Does not love to practice — I can't imagine that'll get any better. And when things don't go well, you're always gonna be leery. 'All right, what kind of drama are we gonna get from this guy?' When things are great, he's great. When things go south, his true colors show a little bit. But he always shows up on game day. He's gonna have to go to a team that knows what they're getting. You cannot expect a perfect-attendance type of worker."
Hopkins recently hired agent Kelton Crenshaw of Klutch Sports to represent him in free agency after previously representing himself, according to NFL Media. This maneuver could help control and curate some buzz around the league for him even as there seems to be an array of different opinions of what he's bringing to the table at this stage of his career.
Complicating the matter was Odell Beckham Jr. signing for $15 million in base salary by the Baltimore Ravens. that the Kansas City Chiefs were progressing toward a deal to trade for the pass catcher but things did go sideways once Beckham inked that deal, which led to Hopkins looking for a similar return in compensation.
So, it would seem like Hopkins is at a crossroads. He could either look for a team to give him significant money for 2023 or he could latch on with a Super Bowl contender at shorter money in hopes to cash in next offseason after a productive campaign that could also result in a ring. For now, we'll simply have to sit back and see how his market materializes.