New England Patriots

New England Patriots

GLENDALE, ARIZONA - DECEMBER 12: Wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins #10 of the Arizona Cardinals during the NFL game at State Farm Stadium on December 12, 2022 in Glendale, Arizona. The Patriots defeated the Cardinals 27-13. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

When the Patriots’ three-year contract extension with DeVante Parker was announced on Wednesday night, many Patriots fans had the same reaction – something along the lines of ‘there goes DeAndre Hopkins.’ Just a day after the Patriots were named a favorite to land Hopkins by one NFL insider, it looked like they were ready to head in another direction.

As it turns out, that may not be the case.

  • Shortly after the Parker news broke, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport put to bed the idea that this meant the Patriots are backing out of the Hopkins sweepstakes. “Parker’s new contract will not dampen any optimism of bringing in Hopkins, who’s not expected to sign with a club until just before training camps kick off in late July,” he said, via

    Rapoport wasn’t alone in reporting that. NBC Sports Boston’s Phil Perry also tweeted that, “my understanding is this does not rule out Hopkins eventually signing with the Patriots.”

    Assuming the Patriots don’t mind the slight redundancy in the skillsets of Parker and Hopkins as ‘X’ receivers (although Hopkins has more formational versatility, more on that in a minute) this move may even help them land Hopkins. Parkers extension is expected to open up some cap space for the 2023 year. The exact amount that’s opened up will come with the contract structure details.

  • While the Patriots may be in on Hopkins even after extending Parker, his projected role certainly changes. Prior to Parker’s new contract, he was due to have a $6.2 million cap hit with no dead money. He seemed like the obvious ‘odd-man out’ based on the Patriots’ historical tendencies.

    Now that he’s here to stay, the pieces move around a bit. Parker likely stays at the ‘X,’ with Hopkins playing more of a ‘Z’ or ‘move’ role. That ‘Z’ role was originally thought to be up for grabs between Kendrick Bourne and Tyquan Thornton, who would now become depth players if Hopkins signed. Bourne could also be a cap candidate, entering the final year of his deal. He’s set to have a $6.8 million dollar cap hit, with the Patriots clearing $5.4 million if they cut or trade him. JuJu Smith-Schuster remains the projected slot receiver.

    Of course, for that all to kick in Hopkins would have to sign with the Patriots. The waiting game on that front continues – it’s just what would happen next that’s been shaken up by Parker’s extension.

  • Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 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

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