The Tennessee Titans reportedly are well-positioned to land star free agent receiver DeAndre Hopkins this offseason, according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler.
Fowler explained on SportsCenter that both the Titans and New England Patriots are in the mix for Hopkins.
“Those two are still heavily in the mix, you could call them the favorites still, but they’ve kept in contact,” Fowler said. “The Titans, I’m told, are pretty well-positioned here. They’re certainly motivated to do this from coach Mike Vrabel on down. They are very intrigued by the possibility of Hopkins in their offense with Ryan Tannehill. Hopkins has interest there too.
“I’m told he had a great visit with New England a couple weeks ago, so there’s certainly some mutual interest there, has a lot of respect for Bill Belichick. Like usual, a lot’s going to depend on what comes with the contract front, so we’ll see who steps up there, but this is something where he can wait closer to training camp, but I was also told that something could get done in the next week or two, so it just really depends on who steps up.”
Hopkins is one of the league’s top receivers when healthy, but he was set to have a major cap number for the Arizona Cardinals in the 2023 season and ended up getting cut. The star wideout spent part of the 2022 season suspended due to a performance-enhancing drugs violation.
Arizona was unable to find a deal for Hopkins prior to cutting him, and the writing was on the wall that he’d be released after the 2023 NFL Draft came and went without the Cardinals moving him.
Despite his suspension in the 2022 season, Hopkins was great for Arizona when he was on the field. The veteran wide receiver caught 64 of his 96 targets in nine games for the Cardinals. He turned those 64 receptions into 717 yards and three touchdowns in the process.
Hopkins is five-time Pro Bowler, and he’s posted six seasons in which he’s cleared 1,000 receiving yards. He also has 71 career receiving touchdowns.
The Titans could certainly use a player of Hopkins’ caliber after the team traded away star wideout A.J. Brown prior to the 2022 season. Brown went on to help the Philadelphia Eagles make the Super Bowl last season.
Adding Hopkins to an offense that already features Derrick Henry would give the Titans the one-two punch they need to compete for a playoff spot again in the 2023 season.
Tennessee missed the postseason in the 2022 campaign, losing the AFC South crown to the Jacksonville Jaguars.