The world was stunned when DeAndre Hopkins was traded to the Arizona Cardinals on Monday afternoon. Along with a fourth-round pick, Hopkins was sent to the desert with David Johnson, a second-round pick, and a fourth-round pick coming back to the Houston Texans.
But evidently, Hopkins being moved had been discussed in NFL circles in recent weeks. And according to Bert Breer, the New England Patriots were one of the teams involved in the trade talks surrounding Hopkins.
"I was actually told that they were part of the DeAndre Hopkins discussions over the past couple of weeks," Breer said on NBC Sports Boston's Arbella Early Edition.
Hopkins has long been one of the NFL's better receivers and posted 104 catches, 1,165 receiving yards and seven touchdowns for the Texans last season. It was his third consecutive 1,000+ yard season.
So, why didn't the Patriots ultimately get Hopkins at the low price that the Texans sold him for? According to Breer, they may have known too much about the veteran receiver.
"There was a little bit of a personality conflict between O'Brien and Hopkins. And it makes you wonder, maybe the Patriots had a little bit too much information on that," Breer said. "Maybe because they knew that, they thought that there could be an issue. And the other part of it is, of course, Hopkins wants a new contract. He's going to get one in Arizona. So, are you willing to go to $20, $21, $22 million a year for a receiver? That could've been a problem."
No matter what the reason, Hopkins won't be wearing Patriots colors this season.
The Patriots should still be looking for some help at the receiver position as they try to convince Tom Brady to return to the team. Could they have an interest in a guy like Stefon Diggs, who's latest cryptic tweet indicates he isn't happy in Minnesota? Maybe. But either way, expect the Patriots to explore some receiver options in the coming days.