Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins is the top NFL free agent available after the . Two AFC contenders, the Bills and Chiefs, of Hopkins, but another AFC team long speculated as a could also be interested.
The Patriots, after inquiring about Hopkins early in free agency, initially did not plan to go after the wideout since they were apparently wary of the veteran's pricey contract, The Athletic's Jeff Howe reported in late March. But with the five-time Pro Bowler having been released, Howe reported Friday that New England is more likely to pursue him now that the financial aspect of the move wouldn't be as big of a hurdle.
Hopkins has been one of the NFL's most productive receivers when active and healthy, logging six different 1,000-yard seasons with the Texans and Cardinals. The three-time All-Pro eclipsed 700 yards in nine games last season after opening the year with a suspension. He's missed 15 games the last two years, however, and was due almost $30 million in 2023 as part of a lucrative extension he signed in Arizona. He was also owed more than $25M in 2024.
New England was expected to be active in the receiver market this year, with Bill O'Brien returning as Bill Belichick's offensive coordinator. The Patriots signed former Steelers and Chiefs starter JuJu Smith-Schuster early in free agency, but also lost two of its internal free agents at the position in Jakobi Meyers, who signed with the Raiders; and Nelson Agholor, who's now with the Ravens.