The Arizona Cardinals have released All-Pro receiver DeAndre Hopkins and Tennessee Titans fans are already starting to imagine their dream scenario.
For those who haven't been keeping up with the Arizona Cardinals, Hopkins wanted out this offseason but it was going to be a tough task to get anyone to give up a premium pick for him. Not because Hopkins isn't talented, it is more about his age (30), contract, and any future suspension he might get.
Hopkins was incredibly durable and reliable until 2021 when he suffered a hamstring injury and then later suffered a torn MCL. In 2022 he was suspended for the first six games of the season for PEDs, but he was healthy otherwise. In the 9 games that he played, he racked up 85+ receiving yards in five of those and he did it despite only playing one of those games with Kyler Murray.
Despite any concerns about his age or injury situation, Hopkins still averaged 79.7 yards per game last season with a backup quarterback. If you stretch that number over a 17-game season, it would come out to a 1,300+ yard season. There is no question that he would come in and be an impact starter for the Tennessee Titans.
Is there any hope for the Tennessee Titans?
Now that Hopkins is on the open market, it means that the Tennessee Titans wouldn't have to give up one of the precious few picks that they have in the 2024 NFL Draft which was a huge hurdle in adding Hopkins.
The hard part is going to be selling Hopkins on the idea of coming to Tennessee. Despite liking Mike Vrabel, one look at the offense that Vrabel has been insistent on using is going to make him skeptical.
On the field, you might be able to sell him on an offense that would force defenses to account for Derrick Henry, which would provide him with favorable matchups. You could also sell him on the idea of winning a division where your toughest competition is the Jacksonville Jaguars, and since he has been in the AFC South before he will understand how quickly those Jags teams tend to burn out.
Off the field, the Tennessee Titans are set to have about $100 million in cap space in 2024 and they could pretty much write a blank check as long as it kept the 2023 cap hit low. Remember, Tennessee is a state with no income tax, which is important when you are talking about millions of dollars.
I am highly skeptical that a move could get done when there are other teams in the league that would like to have him and that he would probably like to go to. However, no one should be as desperate as the Tennessee Titans are to get a receiver like Hopkins and Mike Vrabel has to know just how thin the ice underneath him will be if he continues to stretch his 7-game losing streak too much further.