Will the Patriots pursue ex-Cardinals WR DeAndre Hopkins? That’s the question on many fans’ minds, but recent reports suggest that the Patriots are not pursuing Hopkins. While Hopkins is undoubtedly a talented player, the cultural fit between him and the Patriots organization seems to be a potential stumbling block.
Why aren’t the Patriots interested in DeAndre Hopkins?
In an article by Phil Perry of NBC Sports Boston, multiple league sources revealed the reasons behind the Patriots’ lack of interest in signing Hopkins. According to an offensive assistant, Hopkins is not seen as a “program fit” for the team. It is suggested that he doesn’t practice as diligently as the Patriots would expect, and his approach to preparation does not align with the team’s emphasis on intense and meticulous training.
Furthermore, evaluators believe that the WR may not be an ideal fit on the field either. While he is known for his ability to make contested catches, he is not considered a field stretcher or a precise route-runner. This could be problematic for a timing-and-rhythm-based passing game like the one anticipated under offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien and quarterback Mac Jones.
At the moment, the Patriots seem to be focused on short-to-intermediate options in their offense, with players like Hunter Henry, Mike Gesicki, and JuJu Smith-Schuster in line for key roles. However, defensive coaches who have spoken to NBC Sports Boston believe that the team lacks a true game-changing threat that could significantly impact defensive game plans.
What will be Hopkins’ next destination?
While he is reportedly open to signing with any team, his reported baggage might deter some organizations. The perception that he doesn’t want to practice and that his attitude is linked to the team’s performance could make teams hesitant to deal with potential headaches in their locker room.
Unless a team is desperate for a wide receiver, they may prefer to avoid the reported issues surrounding the WR. Teams like the Chiefs, Patriots, and Bills may expect the WR to lower his price.
In the end, while DeAndre Hopkins is undeniably a talented player, the Patriots’ concerns about his fitness, practice habits, and cultural fit seem to have deterred them from pursuing him. It remains to be seen what will be the final decision of the Patriots and Hopkins.