Panthers named best landing spot for DeAndre Hopkins, Courtland Sutton

Even with the free-agent additions of Adam Thielen and DJ Chark, the Carolina Panthers are still without a true No. 1 wideout. But if they’re interested, there may be a few for the taking.

This past week, Pro Football Focus lead NFL analyst Sam Monson named the best landing spots for the league’s top trade candidates. One of those candidates is Arizona Cardinals star DeAndre Hopkins, who Monson believes fits best back home.

He writes of the Central, S.C. native:

Hopkins has been the biggest name on the trading block all offseason, and in a year where elite receivers are hard to come by, he is still an option that must be tempting for several teams, even with his contract. That contract, long seen as an outlier by the rest of the NFL, is significantly more palatable now than it was when he first received it, which could tempt some teams into parting with a draft pick to secure a No. 1 option. Hopkins has gained over 2.0 yards per route run for his entire career despite having a rough quarterback situation for much of that time. He caught over 50% of contested catches last season and at 30 years old,  he still likely has multiple seasons at the top before decline sets in.

The most recent development on Hopkins reportedly has the Cardinals seeking a return similar to what the Panthers received for running back Christian McCaffrey. That deal brought the Panthers back second-, third- and fourth-round picks in 2023 and a fifth-round pick in 2024.

And if that’s too rich for Carolina’s blood, then Monson has another “best fit” for them in Denver Broncos receiver Courtland Sutton:

Rumors have been swirling all offseason that basically the entire Denver receiving corps is on the trading block for the right offer as Sean Payton looks to change tack and craft an offense that Russell Wilson can succeed within. Sutton has looked like the most obvious odd man out from the beginning. Last season, he averaged just 1.55 yards per route run and registered six drops. At 6-foot-4 and over 210 pounds, Sutton has the skill set to be a true X-receiver, something that this free agency class and draft are light on. There are teams that have yet to find that player, or actively lost one, that could be interested.

Since that blurb, new Broncos head coach Sean Payton has pushed back on the idea of shipping away the 6-foot-4 pass catcher. He told NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero at the Annual League Meeting on Sunday that Sutton and teammate Jerry Jeudy are not going to be traded.

So while the acquisition of either man seems unlikely to this point, at least the Panthers have grown a bit more relevant during their rebirth this offseason.


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Story originally appeared on Panthers Wire