A DeAndre Hopkins reunion with the Houston Texans would be devastating for the Tennessee Titans

Wild Card Round - Buffalo Bills v Houston Texans
Wild Card Round - Buffalo Bills v Houston Texans / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

There is no telling how long the DeAndre Hopkins free agency tour will take, but there are rumors that the Tennessee Titans might have to see him twice a year again.

Recent reports have said that Hopkins is gauging interest in several teams and that the Houston Texans are a team that could make sense.

While Hopkins isn't a top-10 receiver in the NFL anymore, the reports of his demise are greatly exaggerated. For example, after serving a suspension for PEDs last season, he finished the season with 64 receptions, 717 yards, and 3 touchdowns in nine games. That is even more impressive when you consider that he was playing with backup quarterbacks in five of those nine games.

The general consensus around the NFL is that the Tennessee Titans and Houston Texans are battling it out for the title of the team with the least talented receivers. If Hopkins were free he would be an obvious starter for 30ish teams in the NFL, so both teams should be very interested and motivated to make a deal happen.

Taking out the rest of the NFL for a second, if the Tennessee Titans landed Hopkins, I'm sure the Houston Texans fans would be aggravated. Not only do you miss out on an addition at receiver, but you miss out on bringing back a legend.

However, if the Houston Texans sign Hopkins, Tennessee Titans fans should be incredibly angry for a few reasons.

Hopkins' decision is a crucial point for the Tennessee Titans power structure

First and foremost, Tennessee Titans fans were agitated when Mike Vrabel and Ran Carthon couldn't find a way to collaborate and bring in a receiver in free agency. The fans got over it as free agency went on and the team did a good job filling holes on the offensive line, linebacker, and EDGE.

That fire was reignited when the Titans decided to pass on dozens of wide receivers in the 2023 NFL Draft before finally picking their first receiver in the seventh round in the form of Colton Dowell from UT Martin.

In their post-draft press conference, the duo insisted that they had a plan and that the roster-building process wasn't complete. In fact, Mike Vrabel suggested that the Monday after the draft would be a day where rosters were purged and the team would look over those cuts to see if there was a receiver that could help them.

As you may know, the team has done absolutely nothing at receiver since the 2023 NFL Draft and it is pretty obvious that whatever they were expecting to happen, didn't happen. The DeAndre Hopkins cut is a lifeline being thrown to them that they didn't deserve to have, but it is one that they should cling to desperately.

If Carthon and Vrabel let him come back into the AFC South, it will be an abject failure from the new power couple.

We know that the team isn't trying to rebuild or focus on the future because Derrick Henry, Ryan Tannehill, and Kevin Byard are all still on the roster. If they are trying to build a competitive roster, there is no way that they can ignore the chance to upgrade their WR2 spot from Nick Westrbook-Ikhine to DeAndre Hopkins.

With nearly $100 million in cap space next season and two executives that know how to structure a free agent contract in Ran Carthon and Chad Brinker, the Tennessee Titans can't make excuses and let one of the most reliable receivers in the NFL end up in Houston where he would help rookie QB C.J. Stroud develop into a franchise quarterback.

The Titans have the resources, they have a better sales pitch, their HC and OC have hands-on experience with him, and signing him doesn't hamper your ability to build a roster next year because he doesn't cost a draft pick. Letting Hopkins slip through their fingers at all is a mistake, but letting him go to a rival could haunt them for years to come.