Don’t plan on DeAndre Hopkins choosing 49ers in free agency

The 49ers don’t have to face wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins twice per year anymore after he was released by the Cardinals. Unfortunately they’re not likely to lure him to the Bay Area either.

Hopkins has already made it clear the quarterbacks he’d like to play with. In an appearance on the I Am Athlete podcast he laid out a group of five of the NFL’s elite QBs that he’d like to catch passes from. Those signal callers are Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes, Bills QB Josh Allen, Ravens QB Lamar Jackson, Eagles QB Jalen Hurts and Chargers QB Justin Herbert.

The 49ers’ lack of certainty under center surely pushes them down Hopkins’ list of desired destinations. Their injury woes at that position have put a significant question mark around who will be their Week 1 starter. Not to mention the issues that have forced San Francisco to use multiple QBs in all but one of Kyle Shanahan’s seasons as the head coach.

Then there’s the matter of role. Hopkins would be joining an offense that already features Brandon Aiyuk, Deebo Samuel, Christian McCaffrey and George Kittle. While putting Hopkins in the mix wouldn’t be difficult, the 49ers aren’t a pass-first team. Last year they finished No. 26 in the NFL in pass attempts. In 2021 they finished No. 29 in that category.

Money will also be a factor. Over the Cap lists the 49ers with about $9.8 million in functional cap space. That number should climb some when Nick Bosa’s extension gets done and drops his $17.8 million cap hit down. However, San Francisco has a potentially expensive logjam at receiver coming down the pike with Aiyuk’s extension due soon.

Hopkins should have enough suitors that his market will inflate beyond what the 49ers are willing or able to pay a receiver that turns 31 on June 6.

Despite all that, the 49ers are on the board at DraftKings Sportsbook. San Francisco has the 10th-best odds to snag Hopkins in free agency. They’re tied with the Cowboys at 25-to-1, behind the Giants (22-to-1), Eagles (20-to-1), Lions (15-to-1), Chargers (10-to-1), Patriots (8-to-1), Ravens (6.5-to-1), Jets (5.5-to-1), Chiefs (4-to-1) and Bills (2.5-to-1).

San Francisco should at least make a call because adding Hopkins to their offense would give them without question the NFL’s top set of offensive weapons, but it’s hard to imagine they have a case as enticing as some of the other clubs that will also be in the mix.


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Story originally appeared on Niners Wire