DeAndre Hopkins said early this offseason he wanted three things from any team he signed with. Hopkins said he wanted stable management, a great quarterback situation, and a solid defense (and defensive line) that could win a championship. Ultimately, Hopkins chose money over a chance to win a championship in the next few seasons.
The 31-year-old wide receiver is set to join the Tennessee Titans this season. The Titans currently fail at all three things Hopkins alleged wanted in free agency.
NFL News: DeAndre Hopkins wanted a stable team
The Titans fired general manager Jon Robinson last season. Robinson’s decision to trade away A.J. Brown was a major reason he’s no longer making decisions with the Titans. The Titans hired Ran Carthon as the new general manager.
- Stable management. No.
Carthon traded up in the second round to draft Will Levis in April. Levis is a quarterback most analysts thought would be a first-round pick if not a top-ten pick. There were rumors the Titans could trade Ryan Tannehill, but that won’t happen before this season.
However, The Titans have drafted two quarterbacks in the last two years as a long-term solution to the end of Tannehill’s tenure in Tennessee. Tannehill is a solid starter, but the Titans want their next quarterback to be more than a game manager in the playoffs. The quarterback situation in Nashville is in even more peril this fall, considering their poor pass-blocking unit from a year ago lost starters and downgraded this offseason.
- Great quarterback situation to inherit. No.
The Titans’ defensive line is a plus for Hopkins after the Titans extended Jeffery Simmons. Pro Football Focus ranks the Titans as having the tenth-best defensive line heading into 2023. The rest of the defense has major problems.
- Great defense that can win a championship. No.
Hopkins chose the Tennessee Titans for money
What the Titans could offer Hopkins was money. Hopkins is getting $13 million a year to play in Tennessee. He can earn $3 million more in incentives.
That’s good money for Hopkins, and one doesn’t begrudge him for cashing in on his talent. His other realistic option this offseason in his pay range was the New England Patriots. They have similar issues, although head coach Bill Belichick should have a much better defense than what the Titans will have this season.
Many teams, including the New York Jets and Kansas City Chiefs, fit Hopkins’ criteria. The Bills wanted Hopkins’ services. They have stable management, a great quarterback situation, and a defense that can win a championship. But they didn’t have $13-16 million to spend on Hopkins this season.
Hopkins didn’t value that list as much as he did his pocketbook.
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