Deshaun Watson is recruiting DeAndre Hopkins for a reunion in Cleveland
During the Browns Foundation Golf outing at Westwood Country Club in Ohio, Deshaun Watson expressed his desire to reunite with former teammate DeAndre Hopkins, this time as members of the Cleveland Browns. Watson’s comments came shortly after Hopkins was released by the Arizona Cardinals, sparking rumors about his next destination. Watson, speaking to Cleveland.com, highlighted their shared history as former Clemson Tigers and their successful stint with the Houston Texans from 2017 to 2019. Throughout that period, Hopkins thrived with Watson, amassing impressive numbers of 315 receptions, 4,115 receiving yards, and 31 touchdowns. His stellar performances earned him Pro Bowl and first-team All-Pro selections in all three seasons he played alongside Watson.
“Me and D-Hop, we just naturally talk. We’ve been talking since the Houston days, and whenever he was in Arizona, we were always talking. He’s always been a brother of mine since I was coming out of high school. Our connection, our relationship has always been great. And I know there’s a lot of things swirling around in the media about him possibly coming to Cleveland. For me, my answer to that is, of course we’d love to have him.”
Hopkins Won’t Be Available for Long
Interestingly, although Watson did not feature on Hopkins’ list of preferred quarterbacks to play with, as revealed on the “I AM ATHLETE” podcast, a potential union in Cleveland still holds promise. Adding fuel to the speculation, it was reported by NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport that Hopkins has hired agent Kelton Crenshaw of Klutch Sports, suggesting that the receiver is actively seeking a deal. This development is noteworthy as earlier reports indicated that Hopkins was unrepresented, creating complications for teams interested in signing him.
Is a Cleveland Reunion Possible?
However, several hurdles stand in the way of a Watson-Hopkins reunion. Finances pose a significant challenge, with the Browns currently having limited salary-cap space of around $6.7 million, according to Spotrac. In order to secure Hopkins, who reportedly expects a substantial contract offer, the Browns would need to navigate their financial situation and potentially restructure their funds to meet his asking price.
Furthermore, Cleveland’s wide receiver corps already appears well-stocked, which could complicate the addition of Hopkins. The team made notable off-season acquisitions by bringing in Elijah Moore and Marquise Goodwin to complement their established leader, Amari Cooper. In addition, they drafted Cedric Tillman from the University of Tennessee in the third round of the recent NFL draft. Balancing the financial considerations and roster depth will be crucial for the Browns if they are to pursue Hopkins and fulfill Watson’s desire for a reunion on the field.
As the offseason progresses and free agency unfolds, the potential rekindling of the Watson-Hopkins connection in Cleveland remains an intriguing storyline to watch, with both players undoubtedly recognizing the chemistry they shared during their time together in Houston.