We are in our first full day of DeAndre Hopkins Watch.
ESPN senior NFL writer Jeremy Fowler said Monday the Chiefs believe Kadarius Toney can be a No. 1 receiver, which means KC won’t feel pressure to sign Hopkins.
“I don’t get the sense they’re overly desperate to make this happen, but there’s certainly some interest,” said Fowler, who added there’s a “bit of an arms race” between the Chiefs and Bills for Hopkins.
Former NFL quarterback Chris Simms said Wednesday on NBC Sports’ website he doesn’t think money will be the biggest motivator for Hopkins.
“With DeAndre Hopkins. I don’t see him going, ‘Oh wait, I’ll take an extra million or two dollars to go play with the Carolina Panthers’ or some team that we don’t envision that really is in a Super Bowl window,” Simms said to Mike Florio. “Like you said, I think it will be top-tier teams, Chiefs, Bills, those are the teams we are talking about. ....
“What are his expectations? What does he want? How many years of a contract does he want? What kind of guarantees is he looking at? That’s to me, where it’s going to be tricky. Or is this just going to be a one-year rental type of thing and then he’s going to try and set himself up. That’s where I don’t have a great feel for what he’s expecting quite yet.”
Although Hopkins, who has 11,298 career receiving yards in 10 NFL seasons, was cut free by the Cardinals, the team had hoped to trade him.
According to Sports Illustrated Senior NFL writer Albert Breer, the Chiefs were in talks to acquire Hopkins via trade earlier this year. But things fell apart in April when the Baltimore Ravens signed free-agent wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. to a one-year, $15 million contract that could be worth as much as $18 million.
“Kansas City made progress toward a deal, but things went a little sideways when Odell Beckham Jr. got $15 million in base pay from Baltimore, making Hopkins feel like he should land at least that much, given that Beckham didn’t play last year,” Breer wrote. “The Chiefs wound up giving free-agent left tackle Donovan Smith a deal structured similarly to the offer they made Hopkins, which will make it more difficult for Kansas City to circle back.”
Smith’s contract with the Chiefs has a base salary of $3 million, so perhaps a Watkins deal indeed would be tough for KC to make.
But we won’t know that for certain until DeAndre Hopkins Watch official ends.