New England Patriots

New England Patriots

Nov 27, 2022; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (10) against the Los Angeles Chargers at State Farm Stadium. Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Are you a ‘glass half full’ or ‘glass half empty’ kind of person? The latest DeAndre Hopkins update is a good way to tell.

On Tuesday morning, the latest update on the five-time All-Pro wide receiver came from ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio with his full comments shared to Twitter by Pats Pulpit’s Bernd Buchmasser. For the Patriots, the news is a mixed bag.

  • “I believe so,” Paolantonio said when asked if Hopkins will end up in New England. “There’s mutual interest. Bill likes him – Bill Belichick likes DeAndre Hopkins, likes his game. And DeAndre Hopkins likes the situation in New England, knows Bill O’Brien. It’s a perfect fit at a time when they need a wide receiver that can get separation. They need somebody like that.”

    For the Patriots, that’s the good news. This is the first time they’ve been mentioned as a frontrunner during Hopkins’ free agency.

    However, that wasn’t all the new information from Sal Pal.

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  • Later in the interview, Paolantonio noted two teams not previously believed to be in the mix for Hopkins are also making a push. “Carolina’s lurking, Cleveland is lurking for sure,” he said.

    Cleveland had previously been reported to be out on Hopkins. Still, he’s a logical fit for the team, which had a need at the wide receiver position. Hopkins also has a previous relationship with Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson – they played together with the Texans from 2017-2019. Both are also former Clemson Tigers, although they did not play together in college.

    Carolina should also be taken seriously as a suitor for Hopkins, at least from their end. currently projects them with $26.5 million in cap space – the third most in the league. After using the first overall pick on quarterback Bryce Young, it would make sense for them to be looking to maximize the talent around him to bolster his growth while he’s still on an affordable rookie contract.

  • Can the Patriots beat out both of those teams to land Hopkins? Paolantonio seems to believe so.

    “But if I’m DeAndre Hopkins, do I want to go to Carolina with a rookie [quarterback]? Do I want to go to Cleveland? Or do I want to go to New England where I can be coached by Bill Belichick?”

    While all of the information included in this report is notable, there’s also a notable exclusion. At no point did Paolantonio mention the Tennessee Titans, who are the only other team to meet with Hopkins besides the Patriots. That meeting occurred first, a few days before Hopkins made the trip to New England.

    Overall, this information seems favorable for the Patriots’ chances of landing the 31-year-old wideout. If the Browns or Panthers were getting serious about signing Hopkins they’d likely host him for a visit, just as the Patriots and Titans did. Of course as long as Hopkins remains unsigned there’s always still a chance that happens, but for now things seem to be trending in the Patriots’ direction.

  • 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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