After being among those who have stoked the flames of the DeAndre-Hopkins-to-the-Kansas-City-Chiefs story in recent weeks, Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer backed off a little in Monday’s MMQB column.
He characterized the Hopkins market as “murky” — but noted that the free agent wide receiver’s decision to hire agent Kelton Crenshaw (of the Klutch agency) should help move things along, since it now appears that a $15 million (up to $18 million) contract like the one the Baltimore Ravens gave to Odell Beckham Jr. might no longer be in the cards.
I’d be pretty stunned if that sort of deal is out there for Hopkins.
And that’s where hiring an agent can help him. Part of Crenshaw’s job will be giving Hopkins the hard truth about his market, and that where it sits now is about more than just who he’s been as a player—his age, injury/practice history and the time of year it is are all big factors, too. Had Hopkins accepted those truths earlier, my guess is he would probably be on the Chiefs or Bills roster now.
At this point, I’d say both those teams would sign him only at a discount.
Breer then argues that Kansas City “gave money that would’ve gone to Hopkins to left tackle Donovan Smith” — and that by trading up for tight end Dalton Kincaid in the draft, Buffalo had already given itself “another mouth to feed in an offense that has to get the ball plenty to Stefon Diggs.”
In the end, Breer has now arrived pretty much where we have been ever since this idea got started: that if Hopkins ends up in Kansas City, it’s probably going to be because he’s signed a very team-friendly contract — and so far, there haven’t been a lot of indications that this will happen.
Breer mentions the New England Patriots (where former Houston Texans coach Bill O’Brien is now the offensive coordinator), the Cleveland Browns (whose quarterback Deshaun Watson had a lot of success with Hopkins when they both played in Houston) and even the Ravens as remaining possibilities. According to Spotrac, all three teams currently have at least $12 million in cap space — far more than either the Chiefs or Bills, who now bring up the rear with just $1.1 million and $1.4 million in space.
We’ll keep you posted.