The New England Patriots still need a true No. 1 wide receiver, even after drafting Tyquan Thornton in the second round and trading for veteran DeVante Parker last offseason.
Who could the Patriots target for such a role?
One potential option is DeAndre Hopkins, whose future with the Arizona Cardinals is uncertain. In fact, The Score's Jordan Schultz reported earlier this month that the Cardinals plan to trade Hopkins. It's already been a busy offseason for the Cardinals. They fired head coach Kliff Kingsbury earlier this month, while general manager Steve Keim stepped down. They replaced Keim with former Patriots exec Monti Ossenfort as the new GM, but the head coach position remains open.
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What would be the asking price for a Hopkins trade?
Here's what Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer wrote in his latest mailbag feature:
"I think it’s going to be hard for Ossenfort to get great value for Hopkins, maybe even to the point where keeping him is a better idea than dealing him. As it stands right now, if I had to ballpark it, I’d say a Day 2 pick would be what Arizona would get in return in a trade."
A Day 2 pick would be a second- or third-rounder. That doesn't sound like a steep price for one of the most productive wide receivers in the league.
Hopkins has averaged 89 receptions for 1,135 yards with eight touchdowns over the last six seasons between the Houston Texans and Cardinals. He tallied 64 receptions for 717 yards and three touchdowns in six games this past season. He missed the first six games of the 2022 campaign due to a PED suspension.
Hopkins does have a history with new Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien, who was the head coach for the last six of the 30-year-old wideout's seven seasons with the Texans. That said, these two reportedly didn't have a good relationship near the end of Hopkins' tenure in Houston. But O'Brien isn't the head coach in New England -- it's still Bill Belichick, and he has a ton of respect and admiration for Hopkins. We saw that in December when the Patriots played the Cardinals in a Week 14 matchup on "Monday Night Football".
Jakobi Meyers was the only Patriots wide receiver with more than 35 receptions and 550 receiving yards, and he's a free agent this offseason. Nelson Agholor also is a free agent.
Offensive tackle should be a higher priority than wide receiver for the Patriots over the next few months, but if a playmaker of Hopkins' caliber is really available for just a second- or third-round pick, New England should strongly consider making that deal. If you look around the AFC, the top teams all have an elite pass-catcher (Ja'Marr Chase, Travis Kelce, Stefon Diggs, etc.) who is a tough matchup for defenses. The Patriots don't have that kind of player on their roster right now.