DeAndre Hopkins wants this kind of contract as free agent, per report originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
DeAndre Hopkins is the best NFL free agent on the market right now, and if the veteran wide receiver gets his way, he won't be a cheap addition for the team that signs him.
Hopkins, who turns 31 on June 6, became a free agent two weeks ago when the Arizona Cardinals released him. He spent three seasons with the Cardinals and tallied 221 receptions for 2,696 yards and 17 touchdowns in 35 games over that span.
What kind of contract is Hopkins seeking?
Two league executives told The Athletic's Tim Graham that "Hopkins wants a deal similar to what the Baltimore Ravens gave Odell Beckham Jr., who signed a one-year deal worth $15 million guaranteed with another $3 million in incentives."
Just 10 teams have $15 million or more in salary cap space at the moment, per OverTheCap. The Dallas Cowboys, New York Jets, Detroit Lions and Pittsburgh Steelers are among those teams. The Patriots have a little more than $13 million in cap space, and they reportedly have agreed to sign free agent wideout Ed Lee from the University of Rhode Island.
Would Hopkins even be a fit in New England?
Here's what our Patriots insider Phil Perry wrote last week:
After talking with several league sources this week about a potential union between Hopkins and the Patriots, a handful of themes have emerged. He is not thought to be, I'm told, a "program fit."
Hopkins "doesn't practice," said one offensive assistant. That sentiment was echoed by others who identified the Patriots as a "rigid" working environment where an emphasis on intense preparation is the modus operandi.
"That's not him," the offensive assistant said. "He's never been that guy."
Hopkins should have plenty of value. The 2013 first-round pick might not be the Tier 1 wide receiver he was earlier in his career, but he's still a very productive player when healthy.