NFL Reports: Bill O’Brien Open to a DeAndre Hopkins Reunion in New England

DeAndre Hopkins Challenges 49ers' Charvarius Ward to Boxing Match

The Patriots can certainly afford Hopkins, and their new OC may be open to a reunion

According to the latest NFL rumors, the New England Patriots may have a better shot of signing DeAndre Hopkins than many originally believed. Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer reported that Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien, who previously traded Hopkins while they were both with the Houston Texans, would actually be open to the idea of signing the All-Pro receiver.

Breer mentioned in his column that despite the perception of a rift between O’Brien and Hopkins, the reality is that O’Brien would be in favor of the Patriots pursuing Hopkins. It is worth noting that Hopkins had his most productive years while playing under O’Brien in Houston.

Reports Assumed O’Brien Would Not Want Hopkins

Previously, there were rumors suggesting a strained relationship between O’Brien and Hopkins, which allegedly contributed to the Texans trading him to the Arizona Cardinals in March 2020. The seemingly low return the Texans received at the time (a second-round pick and running back David Johnson, who was past his prime) further fueled speculation. However, Breer’s report suggests that the relationship between O’Brien and Hopkins may not be a deterrent to a potential reunion.

โ€œDespite perception out there, my sense is that Oโ€™Brien would be plenty on board with, not against, signing Hopkins (and Hopkins had his most productive years playing for Oโ€™Brien in Houston),โ€ Breer wrote in his weekly column on Monday.

The Patriots Might be in the Best Financial Position

In addition to O’Brien’s openness, the Patriots could be in a favorable position in the pursuit of Hopkins. Both the Kansas City Chiefs and Buffalo Bills are currently close to the salary cap, with approximately $1 million in cap space each as of Monday. Breer believes that this creates a narrow path for both teams to sign Hopkins. However, the Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens are also mentioned as possible suitors for the star receiver.

If Hopkins is seeking a substantial contract, which Breer suggests is the case, the Patriots have the available cap space to accommodate his demands. With a little over $13 million in cap space, the Patriots could potentially create more room without significantly altering their team outlook.

The timeline for the Hopkins sweepstakes remains uncertain. While there are rumors that he will visit teams in the coming weeks, the specific teams he will visit have not been disclosed yet. However, it is reported that the Patriots, who previously did not show much interest in trading for Hopkins, are now expected to demonstrate more interest as he becomes a free agent.

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