The New York Jets could set their sights on DeAndre Hopkins after passing on Odell Beckham Jr.
For a few weeks, it felt like a strong possibility that Odell Beckham Jr. would end up joining the New York Jets. And as it turns out, Beckham truly was close to becoming a Jet – until the Baltimore Ravens swooped in at the last minute with an exorbitant offer that included $15 million guaranteed.
Now that Beckham is off the board, rumors are beginning to swirl about the Jets pursuing another multi-time Pro Bowl wide receiver: DeAndre Hopkins of the Arizona Cardinals.
In his Wednesday column, when answering a question that asked whether the Jets would be interested in Hopkins, Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer responded, “yes, conditionally”.
Breer clarified, “I think the Jets are going to do everything they can to go all in around Aaron Rodgers the way, say, the Buccaneers went all in around Tom Brady over the past three years, but they’ll try and do it with some intelligent restraint, like Tampa did.”
Breer also stated, “If the Jets can get Hopkins to work with them on the money, I could certainly see this happening.”
Hopkins, who turns 31 in June, has two years remaining on his contract. That includes base salaries of $19.45 million in 2023 and $14.92 million in 2024, which are the numbers his new team would be expected to take on. The Cardinals would be on the hook for $22.6 million in dead money if they traded Hopkins, which is comprised of his remaining bonus money.
The Jets were unwilling to pay $15 million for one year of Beckham, so it’s unclear whether they are even open to the idea of adding a wide receiver at Hopkins’ price tag.
However, this isn’t an apples-to-apples comparison. Hopkins’ value is certainly well above Beckham’s at this point. Beckham has not played since a torn ACL in February 2022 and it has been a long time since he has produced at an elite level. His last season with at least 50 receiving yards per game was 2019, and his last season with at least 70 yards per game was 2018. Meanwhile, Hopkins remains a proven elite-level receiver as he just averaged 79.7 yards per game in 2022.
With the NFL draft drawing near, Jets fans are growing increasingly eager for some trade news. Of course, they are desperate for the Aaron Rodgers trade to finally go down, but now, some fans will be crossing their fingers for a potential Hopkins trade, too.