Will NFL Deandre Hopkins Retire Anytime Soon?

In a significant announcement on his social media, DeAndre Hopkins revealed his plans for his future in the NFL. As a 31-year-old All-Pro wide receiver, Hopkins is currently the most sought-after free-agent wide receiver in the market as July unfolds.

Several teams considered to be playoff contenders, such as the New England Patriots, have expressed interest in signing Hopkins for the upcoming season. Former Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook has even expressed his desire to team up with Hopkins on a championship-caliber team.

Although Hopkins didn’t reach the 1,000-yard mark in the 2021 and 2022 seasons, he had a remarkable 2020 season where he recorded over 1,400 receiving yards and six touchdowns. It’s worth noting that he played a total of 19 games across both seasons due to an MCL injury in 2021 and a six-game suspension in 2022.

Despite these setbacks, Hopkins firmly believes that he has many seasons left to contribute to the game of football. In a social media post, the former 2013 Houston Texans first-round pick stated that he will only stop playing when he becomes a sub-1,000-yard receiver.

Given his physical stature and ability to challenge cornerbacks, Hopkins remains a difficult receiver to defend. This is precisely why top NFL teams are eager to acquire his services, as he has the potential to elevate a borderline contender to championship-winning status.

However, there is a degree of risk associated with Hopkins’ price tag. As he adds more years to his career beyond the age of 30, front offices become increasingly concerned about the knee injury he sustained two seasons ago. There is a possibility that Hopkins’ body may eventually limit him from being a consistent 1,000-yard receiver.

While Hopkins missed the first six games of a season due to suspension and the final two weeks with a knee sprain, his on-field performances demonstrated that he had not yet hit the age-related decline and this directly affect any NFL Odds for him.

NFL Player DeAndre Hopkins

The market for Wide Receivers should benefit Hopkins

In 2022, the market for NFL wide receivers saw a significant surge in value, with teams aggressively pursuing top-tier talent at the position. The Miami Dolphins acquired Tyreek Hill, while the Philadelphia Eagles secured A.J. Brown, resulting in a substantial boost to their respective team’s passing offenses during a playoff year. DeAndre Hopkins has the potential to provide a similar impact for his next team.

After being released by the rebuilding Arizona Cardinals on May 26, Hopkins aims to generate more interest before deciding on his next destination.

While slightly past his prime and three years removed from a Pro Bowl season, Hopkins still ranked 10th in receiving yards per game (79.7) in the previous season. When available and healthy, he remains a reliable go-to wideout.

Much like his time in Arizona alongside Kyler Murray, Hopkins has the potential to become the most dependable perimeter playmaker for a young quarterback on an up-and-coming team.

Who is the most likely fit for the veteran?

The Atlanta Falcons have the opportunity to make a significant impact before training camp by acquiring DeAndre Hopkins. Pairing him with wideout London Drake (6’4″, 213 lbs) and Kyle Pitts (6’6″, 246 lbs) would create an unstoppable trio of pass-catchers, especially in the red zone. The Falcons could leverage their size advantage across the entire field, making them a formidable offensive force.

In addition to Hopkins, the Falcons have already made moves to strengthen their receiving corps. They signed wideout Mack Hollins, who had career-highs in catches and receiving yards with the Las Vegas Raiders last season. Furthermore, they selected running back Bijan Robinson and offensive lineman Matthew Bergeron in the first two rounds of the 2023 draft, further bolstering their offensive arsenal.

For the Carolina Panthers, adding Hopkins alongside Adam Thielen would create a quality veteran duo to support the development of rookie quarterback Bryce Young. Young, known for his accuracy with a completion rate of 65.8 percent during his time at Alabama, would have two reliable wideouts on the outside to move the ball effectively. This could potentially lead to a playoff run for the Panthers.

The Chicago Bears have made significant improvements to strengthen the supporting cast for quarterback Justin Fields compared to the previous offseason. However, acquiring Hopkins would be the cherry on top of their efforts. Hopkins would serve as a valuable complement to Darnell Mooney on the perimeter, allowing Mooney to primarily work out of the slot. It’s worth noting that wide receiver Chase Claypool had a disappointing stretch last year, and the addition of Hopkins would provide immediate impact without relying on Claypool finding his footing in the offense. With sufficient cap space, the Bears have the means to make this move.

In summary, the Falcons, Panthers, and Bears all have the opportunity to enhance their offenses by acquiring DeAndre Hopkins. Each team would benefit from his presence and playmaking abilities, whether it’s creating an unstoppable trio of pass-catchers, supporting a rookie quarterback’s development, or solidifying the supporting cast for a promising young signal-caller for the sake of boosting the NFL Lines.