New England Patriots

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - SEPTEMBER 12: DeAndre Hopkins #10 of the Arizona Cardinals catches a pass against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium on September 12, 2021 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Silas Walker/Getty Images)

The DeAndre Hopkins sweepstakes have officially begun.

Just over a week after being released by the Arizona Cardinals – and a week full of reports, rumors, and speculation – Hopkins is taking a big first step in his free agency process. That step will be his first free agency meeting this Sunday.

  • On Wednesday afternoon, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported that Hopkins will visit Nashville on Sunday to meet with the Tennessee Titans. Hopkins played in Houston when current Titans head coach Mike Vrabel was the Texans’ linebackers coach and defensive coordinator.

    To this point, the Titans meeting is the first and only one that’s been reported for Hopkins. There has been nothing else confirming or denying meetings with any other team – including the Patriots.

    Keeping that in mind, the Titans meeting doesn’t mean the Patriots are ruled out from landing the 31-year-old five-time All-Pro. If anything, it reinforces the idea that Hopkins is looking to get paid above all else (play for a contender, play with a top QB, etc.).

  • However, if no other meetings are scheduled before Hopkins’ trip to Tennessee, the Titans have the leverage of having Hopkins in the building. If they really want him, they can meet his number before he gets a chance to talk to the Patriots or any other teams.

    When it comes to talking dollars and cents though, the Titans don’t have as much wiggle room as other teams. OverTheCap.com currently lists them with just under $8 million in cap space, which ranks 25th in the league. By comparison, the Patriots sit at $14.3 million, which ranks 13th.

    One last note in all of this – Hopkins is visiting the Titans, rather than having them come to him as some high profile free agents tend to do. That could be an indication his market isn’t as strong as initially believed.

  • Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at abarth@985TheSportsHub.com.

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