Will the Patriots make a play for DeAndre Hopkins?
In April, receiver DeAndre Hopkins used body language and facial expressions to indicate: (1) significant interest in joining the Chiefs or Bills; (2) little or no interest in joining the Jets or Patriots.
With Hopkins now four days into free agency, could the Patriots make a play for him?
Phil Perry of NBC Sports Boston recently explored the various angles.
On one hand, Hopkins isn’t (as Perry writes) a “program fit.” Hopkins is not known for practicing hard, or very much. He might not be willing to submit to the Stepford Patriot playbook.
But he can produce. Even though he’s not a guy who stretches the field, he gets open and catches the ball. He’d make the Patriots better on paper.
The other complication comes from the fact that Hopkins has a history with offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien. The Texans traded Hopkins when O’Brien was the coach there. Any damage from years gone by would have to be undone.
And it surely won’t be cheap to get Hopkins. It won’t be an easy fit. It would be out of character for a Bill Belichick-coached team to even try it.
But Belichick (declined to discuss Hopkins earlier this week) has tried it before, bringing in players who wouldn’t, on the surface, seem to fit. It worked with Randy Moss; it didn’t work with Chad Johnson.
Still, to get Hopkins to even give it a try will mean to persuade him to change his position from April, when he made it clear without saying a word that New England was not on his short list for next team.
To make that happen, the Patriots would have to be offering more than other contenders -- or all contenders would have to be offering so little that someone the Patriots say or do will let Hopkins know he should pass on the Chiefs or Bills or some other short-list contender and cast his lot with the Pats.