Tennessee Titans sign DeAndre Hopkins in lucrative contract
DeAndre Hopkins reportedly signs two-year contract with Tennessee Titans worth $26-32 million.
In a surprising turn of events, it has been reported that DeAndre Hopkins, a five-time Pro Bowl selection, is set to join the Tennessee Titans. The news was first brought to light by Doug Kyed of AtoZ Sports Nashville, and it has since been confirmed by Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network. Although there has been no official confirmation from the Titans, Hopkins' agent, or team spokespersons, the potential signing has already sent shockwaves through the sports world.
Hopkins, a 31-year-old wide receiver, has been one of the most sought-after free agents this offseason. After being released by the Arizona Cardinals in a cost-cutting move back in May, he has been on the lookout for a new team. He even attended a workout session with the New England Patriots last month but was unable to secure a contract.
The Cardinals made the decision to part ways with Hopkins three seasons after acquiring him in a blockbuster trade with the Houston Texans. They had signed him to a lucrative contract extension worth $54.5 million, which was supposed to run through 2024. However, due to concerns about the team's cap space, they had to release Hopkins, resulting in a significant dead money hit of $22.6 million. This move will provide the Cardinals with more flexibility for future signings in 2024.
Meanwhile, the Tennessee Titans, who narrowly missed the playoffs last season, have been actively looking to strengthen their offense. With the recent additions of offensive tackle Peter Skoronski and quarterback Will Levis in the draft, the team is eager to revitalize their offense, which ranked 30th in total yards last season. While Ryan Tannehill remains the team's starting quarterback for now, the new recruits, including Levis and Malik Willis, may have a chance to see playing time if the team struggles early in the season.
If the Titans are able to secure the services of DeAndre Hopkins, it would undoubtedly provide a significant boost to their offense. Hopkins has had an impressive career, currently ranking 36th in league history with 11,298 career receiving yards.
On the other hand, the Arizona Cardinals are in a rebuilding phase under new head coach Jonathan Gannon and general manager Monti Ossenfort. Keeping Hopkins with his expensive contract was not a viable option for them, especially considering that their star quarterback Kyler Murray is expected to miss some time due to a knee injury. The Cardinals had been trying to trade Hopkins for several months but struggled to find a suitable deal due to his high salary.
During his time with the Cardinals, Hopkins showcased his talent, making 221 catches for 2,696 yards and 17 touchdowns in 35 games. One of his most memorable moments came in 2020 when he made an incredible last-second catch from Murray in the end zone against the Buffalo Bills, which was aptly named the "Hail Murray." Hopkins had an exceptional 2020 season, setting a franchise record with 115 receptions for 1,407 yards and six touchdowns.
Unfortunately, injuries plagued both Hopkins and Murray in the latter half of the 2021 season, leading to a decline in the Cardinals' performance. Despite starting strong with a 10-2 record, the team faltered down the stretch and barely made it to the playoffs before being eliminated in the wild-card round by the Los Angeles Rams.
Adding to Hopkins' challenges, he faced a six-game suspension in the 2022 season due to a positive test for performance-enhancing drugs. This further contributed to the Cardinals' disappointing 4-13 season, resulting in the firing of head coach Kliff Kingsbury and parting ways with general manager Steve Keim.