According to a report from ESPN's Dianna Russini, the New England Patriots do indeed have interest in star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins. I guess this might not be news to come, but it being confirmed is definitely something.
The future Hall of Fame wide receiver was shockingly cut by the Arizona Cardinals recently, and it appeared that no one wanted to take on the remaining contract. Now being a free agent, Hopkins can sign with any team he chooses, and the Patriots appear to have interest.
This could mean totally nothing; of course, a wide receiver-needy team has an interest in a great wide receiver, but there are other things in this report that make this more interesting.
Russini said that the Buffalo Bills don't appear to be serious players for Hopkins, and the Dallas Cowboys and New York Jets do not have serious interest in them either.
This may end up coming down to there not being a ton of serious interest in Hopkins. Some of the most logical fits may not have the necessary cap space to make such a move, and that's the one area where the Patriots have other teams beat. According to spotrac.com, the Patriots are sitting on over $15 million in available cap space.
They could easily sign DeAndre Hopkins to a multi-year deal if they wanted. Bill Belichick has shown that he is a fan of Hopkins, and he did also play with Bill O'Brien for a bit in Houston. Whether Hopkins and O'Brien can forget the past remains to be seen.
If the Patriots were to do this, they'd become a decent threat in the AFC to at least make the playoffs as a Wild Card team. It would take quite a bit of movement for them to be considered division favorites.
I think Mac Jones is the one thing that may hold this team back, and there really isn't much the Pats can do at this point to change that for 2023, but bringing in someone like DeAndre Hopkins would be a great start.