New England Patriots

MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA - OCTOBER 30: DeAndre Hopkins #10 of the Arizona Cardinals catches the ball for a touchdown as Harrison Smith #22 of the Minnesota Vikings defends during the second quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium on October 30, 2022 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images)

As the DeAndre Hopkins rumors heat up, the Patriots certainly seem to be angling themselves to land the 30-year-old, five-time All-Pro. Multiple reports have noted the team’s “interest,” but it remains unknown to this point how strong that interest is, or to what level it’s reciprocated.

If one thing has been made clear about Hopkins’ overall situation in recent days, it’s what he’s looking for from teams. Multiple reports late last week painted a picture of a player who is looking to – above all else – land one more big contract while in his prime.

  • As we discussed last week, Hopkins taking that approach is both good and bad news for the Patriots if they want to sign him. Ultimately, it very well could come down to them simply outbidding other teams.

    Within their bid though, there are two key things the Patriots will need to account for to set themselves apart from other teams in the mix. Using round numbers as an example, if one team offers Hopkins $10,000,000, they may not be able to win by offering $10,000,001.

    The first variable is a simple one – taxes. In a recent interview, Hopkins was asked about the potential of signing with the Dallas Cowboys, and what he said of the teams colors. He replied “No state tax is my favorite,” as passed along by Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News.

    A few teams rumored to be interested in Hopkins, such as the Houston Texans, play in states with no income tax. Others such as the Cleveland Browns and Detroit Lions, play in states with lower tax rates than Massachusetts. That’s something the Patriots will need to compensate for when putting together their offer.

  • The other thing the Patriots will need to consider – because Hopkins probably will be – is his relationship with current coordinator Bill O’Brien. O’Brien and Hopkins worked together in Houston when O’Brien has the head coach and GM. The two reportedly didn’t get along and it was ultimately O’Brien who traded Hopkins off the Texans.

    While they reportedly had a bad relationship at the time, the question remains – has enough time passed that they could mend the bridge? If not is there something the Patriots could do – financially or otherwise – to convince Hopkins to work with O’Brien again? On his podcast last week, ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter addressed that question…

    “What I keep coming back to is that, in Houston, the man that traded DeAndre Hopkins was the then-Texans head coach Bill O’Brien. And who’s the Patriots’ offensive coordinator now? Bill O’Brien,” Schefter says. “I don’t think those two individuals, Bill O’Brien, and DeAndre Hopkins, particularly cared for one another. So now it’s okay – that they’re just going to go back and get back together and be alright working together? I don’t know about that.”

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  • “I don’t know that New England is going to be atop his list,” Schefter continues. “Now, it may be the one that makes the most financial sense, and if it is, then, of course, everybody can make it work. But I just don’t think we start out thinking that New England is going to be a top option, though, in the end, it could end up being the place that he lands.”

    That quote from Schefter only reinforces the point here. If the Patriots want to sign Hopkins, that conversation starts and ends with the financial element. At 30 years old and coming off a season where he caught 64 passes for 717 yards and three touchdowns in just nine games (a full-season pace of 121 catches, 1,354 yards, and six touchdowns), he’s trying to get one last big contract while he still can. Will the Patriots be the team to give it to him?

  • 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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