The Arizona Cardinals formally released DeAndre Hopkins on Friday, ending months of rumors about a potential blockbuster deal involving the star wide receiver. Hopkins is now free to join with any team. Now that he’s available for contract negotiations, the five-time Pro Bowl selection will undoubtedly have more suitors, and the Kansas City Chiefs and the Buffalo Bills are likely to be among them.
According to Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated, only Kansas City and Buffalo had “substantial trade talks with Arizona” regarding Hopkins. According to Breer, Hopkins’ contract was the main obstacle for both AFC heavyweights. Although the defending Super Bowl winners “made progress” in their pursuit of the 30-year-old, their efforts were “blown up” by the agreement that Hopkins’ teammate Odell Beckham Jr. struck with the Baltimore Ravens.
Hopkins’ services are arguably more needed by the Bills than by the Chiefs. Last year, Patrick Mahomes and company showed that an excellent offense can exist without a legitimate No. 1 receiver. When you consider how much the rest of the AFC improved over the offseason, Buffalo, on the other hand, might need one more above-average player to get over the finish line.
The Chiefs and the Bills won’t, however, be the only clubs pursuing Hopkins now that there are no conditions attached, as was already mentioned. The New England Patriots, who are in desperate need of a wide receiver, might enter the race given that head coach Bill Belichick is a noted Hopkins fan.
Teams with greater cap room include the Panthers, Lions, Packers, Texans, and Ravens, all of whom could look into adding WR support. Hopkins had also been connected to the Patriots in the past, who seem to be more likely suitors now that the receiver is a free agency. According to Over the Cap, only the Buccaneers presently have less 2023 cap room than the Bills and Chiefs.