Is the DeAndre Hopkins dream dead in Foxboro?
The New England Patriots reportedly called the Arizona Cardinals recently about a potential trade for the star wide receiver. With a clear need for a No. 1 wideout, plus the reasonable rumored asking price, New England seemed like a likely landing spot for Hopkins.
On Wednesday though, the Patriots addressed the receiver position by signing JuJu Smith-Schuster to a three-year contract worth $ 33 million. The MMQB's Albert Breer tweeted an explanation of what Smith-Schuster will bring to the table while noting the Pats "aren't in it for DeAndre Hopkins."
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It's unclear whether the Patriots are unwilling to pay the price for Hopkins or if the Smith-Schuster acquisition ended their pursuit of the three-time First-Team All-Pro. If it's the latter, that would be a bit of a head-scratcher.
Smith-Schuster replaces slot receiver Jakobi Meyers, who signed an identical contract with the Las Vegas Raiders in free agency. The Patriots wide receiving corps still needs a significant upgrade to help Mac Jones as the young quarterback enters a pivotal third season. The receiver depth chart after Smith-Schuster currently includes DeVante Parker, Tyquan Thornton, and Kendrick Bourne.
Hopkins might be off the table, but the Patriots also reportedly called the Denver Broncos about a possible Jerry Jeudy deal. If New England does land a No. 1 wide receiver this offseason, it likely will be via trade as the free-agent class after Meyers and Smith-Schuster leaves plenty to be desired.