New England Patriots

New England Patriots

Sep 10, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans head coach Bill O'Brien speaks to wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (10) before the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports

DeAndre Hopkins and the New England Patriots sounds like a more likely partnership by the day.

That doesn’t mean the team’s ability or potential to sign the three-time All-Pro wide receiver was without obstacles. Questions remain about Hopkins’ overall fit with the Patriots’ culture and coaching staff. Not to mention, money. But a new report suggests that one of the biggest problems with Hopkins and a key Patriots coach isn’t what it seems.

  • Sports Hub Patriots Podcast // Minicamp Reactions

    (Click here to subscribe to Patriots Audio on 98.5 The Sports Hub.)

  • The newest major detail on the Hopkins-Patriots situation comes from ESPN’s Dianna Russini, who tweeted Wednesday morning: “For those who have raised some concerns about Pats offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien and Hopkins past relationship in Houston, sources have shared there’s no animosity at all.”

    O’Brien’s mere presence in New England as the new offensive coordinator seemed like arguably the biggest roadblock to the Patriots signing Hopkins, even more so than anything financial. Certainly more than the idea that Hopkins doesn’t love to practice or that he might not be a fan of Bill Belichick’s tough coaching.

    But, apparently, that’s not the problem it appeared to be – and might not have been an issue at all, ever.

  • Bill O'Brien shakes hands with DeAndre Hopkins during Houston Texans training camp on Aug. 1, 2016. (Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports)

    Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports

  • We’re confident saying that, now, because Mark Daniels of MassLive added some interesting detail to Russini’s report. Daniels tweeted Wednesday that former Texans wide receiver coach John Perry said he still talks to Hopkins and he is “close with O’Brien” and “the pair would easily work together again.”

    Well, color us intrigued.

    To add further reporting to this constantly developing situation, Jeff Howe of The Athletic noted in a new minicamp report that there’s “optimism” the two sides can reach an agreement. Hopkins is scheduled to fly out to New England on Wednesday and visit Gillette Stadium on Thursday.

  • This thing is becoming more real by the hour.

    These reports don’t necessarily dismiss the idea that Hopkins and O’Brien never had any problems. O’Brien traded Hopkins to the Arizona Cardinals during his time as the Houston Texans’ interim GM in 2020, and there appeared to be issues at that particular time. But that seems over, now.

    Anyway, we’ll keep our eye on the situation and all the reporting that comes out of it. It’s quite possible we finally get the Hopkins verdict on Thursday, after his visit.

    Click here for complete New England Patriots coverage at

    Matt Dolloff is a writer and podcaster for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Yell at him on Twitter @mattdolloff and follow him on Instagram @realmattdolloff. Check out all of Matt’s content here.

Sign me up for the 98.5 The Sports Hub email newsletter!

Get the latest Boston sports news and analysis, plus exclusive on-demand content and special giveaways from Boston's Home for Sports, 98.5 The Sports Hub.

By clicking "Subscribe" I agree to the website's terms of Service and Privacy Policy. I understand I can unsubscribe at any time.