The Buffalo Bills were once the odds-on favorite to land DeAndre Hopkins, but appear to have fallen out of the race as the All-Pro wide receiver grows closer to a final decision.
the NFL Network’s Albert Breer reported back in May that the Bills and Kansas City Chiefs were the only teams to hold substantive trade talks with the Arizona Cardinals, but after the Cardinals opted to release Hopkins the race appeared to have changed. ESPN’s Dianna Russini reported on June 20 that Hopkins was down to a final two, including one top rival of the Bills.
DeAndre Hopkins Mulling Over Options
Russini reported that Hopkins was considering offers from two teams that he had recently visited — the Tennessee Titans and New England Patriots. ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler added that Hopkins isn’t in a rush to make a decision, and both the Titans and Patriots remain committed to landing him.
“There’s a lull in action right now. The training camp’s not for a month, not a lot of rush,” Fowler said, via Bleacher Report. “He met the Titans, met the Patriots. Both teams made it clear that they had a major interest in signing him. I’m told there is some mutual interest and respect between the Patriots and Hopkins, that something could go down, but they couldn’t get the deal done while he was on the visit.”
Fowler noted that the situation could still change, and the fact that Hopkins is considering offers from the Titans and Patriots doesn’t preclude another team from jumping back into the mix. He specifically called out one of the top AFC contenders that had previously been involved in trade talks — even though it wasn’t the Bills.
“You still have teams, like maybe the Chiefs, if they could clear up some money later, closer to the training camp, then they could get involved,” he said. “There’s some contenders there but right now, he is staying put and waiting for the right situation.”
Although many pundits identified the Bills as a strong contender, general manager Brandon Beane also tempered enthusiasm when he hinted on June 5 that the Bills would likely be priced out of the race.
“It would definitely have to fit with how we would restructure the salary and all that, so the ruling never came out,” Beane said in an appearance on “The Pat McAfee Show.” “I know he’s a good player and he’ll likely demand a decent contract.”
Bills May Have Another Move to Make
Even though it appears the Bills have fallen out of the race to land Hopkins, some insiders believe they could still have one more big move left this offseason. They have been linked to Pro Bowl running back Dalvin Cook, who was rumored to be interested in Buffalo as well.
A June 1 report from Outkick’s Armando Salguero noted that Cook was intrigued with the idea of joining the Bills and playing alongside his younger brother or playing for his hometown team, the Miami Dolphins.
“Cook is from Miami,” Salguero wrote. “[He] has made it known through sources he’d like to play either for the Dolphins or with his brother James Cook on the Bills. And the Vikings have let it known Cook probably isn’t in their future.”
But adding any player would be difficult for the cash-strapped Bills, who would likely need to make some form of corresponding move in order to create the stamp space needed to sign Cook or any other impact player.