Until it is announced where DeAndre Hopkins has decided to sign, we will forever be discussing and speculating about his potential signing with the Patriots. It's inevitable because here we are again.
The latest addition to this saga comes from NFL insider Adam Schefter, who shared his take on his most recent podcast regarding the idea of Hopkins considering New England, knowing that his former head coach is now the offensive coordinator there.
"New England could be interesting. New England has a need there. But what I keep coming back to is that, in Houston, the man that traded DeAndre Hopkins was the then-Texans head coach Bill O’Brien. And who’s the Patriots' offensive coordinator now? Bill O’Brien. I don’t think those two individuals, Bill O’Brien, and DeAndre Hopkins, particularly cared for one another.
So now it’s okay? That they’re just going to go back and get back together and be alright working together? I don’t know about that. …I don’t know that New England is going to be atop his list. Now, it may be the one that makes the most financial sense, and if it is, then, of course, everybody can make it work. But I just don’t think we start out thinking that New England is going to be a top option, though, in the end, it could end up being the place that he lands."
His take makes all the sense in the world, especially when considering the alleged checkered past between O'Brien and Hopkins. Details of their relationship haven't been revealed much, so it's difficult to assume the two could never work together again.
But as stated several times, it all depends on what Hopkins is chasing at this point in his career; a Super Bowl win or the money.
It's reasonable to believe he will go somewhere that gives him the best chance of going deep in the playoffs or winning a Lombardi and taking less money because of it. We've seen that done many times, and it will likely continue until the end of time.
But is it outlandish to consider he may want to be coached by Bill Belichick and play for a legendary franchise like the Patriots? We know their mutual respect and admiration for each other, as witnessed last season, and now that the opportunity is there, he may jump on it.
Or did the allure of the Patriots leave with Tom Brady three years ago?
We know of the teams that have expressed interest, inquired about trading for, or the ones that would make the most sense for Hopkins the Patriots have the most cap space to offer, making them an enticing suitor.
It's possible O'Brien may be the biggest deterrent, and unfortunately, that's not something the Patriots can change. He was the best fit to replace the mess that Matt Patricia created, and his familiarity with New England certainly doesn't hurt.
However, one aspect that Schefter and almost everyone else seems to overlook is Hopkins' production when being coached by O'Brien in Houston. Now that he's older and has experienced more away from his former head coach, he could view him as someone who helps him be a better player, regardless of whatever happened that led to O'Brien trading him to Arizona.
No matter what, this is all just going to continue being speculation until we get definitive answers.
It's rumored Hopkins is possibly willing to visit with teams on his radar, which is said to be the entire league, and he is prepared to be patient with the process. Unfortunately, for those of us excited about the chance of him landing in New England, we will have to wait it out and see what happens, no matter how long it takes.