A possible internal roadblock may prevent Patriots from going after DeAndre Hopkins

New England Patriots v Cleveland Browns
New England Patriots v Cleveland Browns / Nick Cammett/GettyImages

The speculation surrounding the Patriots' chances of landing DeAndre Hopkins now that the Cardinals released him will become tiresome, but a new report may put an end to the rumors quicker than he can be signed.

The Patriots' interest in Hopkins over the years has been well documented, with reports indicating Bill Belichick has inquired about trading for the receiver since he was with the Texans. And over the last few months, that interest has intensified as the Cardinals seemingly placed him on the trade block, with the Patriots leading the pack calling Arizona regarding a trade.

But we know how that all transpired.

The Cardinals were said to be asking for too much in return, despite Hopkins' contract being a deterrent as it was, which forced the Patriots and all other inquiring teams to back off. However, with Friday's news of his release, New England is still atop the list of teams who will likely heavily pursue him, even if many believe their chances of signing him are slim.

Since Hopkins will have his choice of where to sign, most believe other teams are far me desirable for him to sign with, and the Patriots' chances of getting a deal done seem nearly impossible. Whether or not there's truth to that belief is not known, but a new report suggests that may not be the only reason we won't see Hopkins in a Patriots uniform any time soon.

When the news broke Friday afternoon, NESN's Phil Perry revealed via Twitter that not all Patriots' personnel are on board with bringing Hopkins in. Who may be on the fence about him is unclear, but it's safe to assume it's not Belichick.

Could this actually be a factor in the decision to pursue the five-time Pro Bowler, assuming he would be interested in the Patriots?

Possibly. But Belichick is more than just the head coach in New England; he is also the GM, leaving nearly all roster decisions up to him. So if it all rests on his shoulders, there's no reason to believe that Hopkins won't be a Patriot at some point.

There's also no evidence to suggest Hopkins will have a massive decline this upcoming season since that is apparently the reason for this internal figures' hesitancy.

Sure, he's missed 15 games over the last two seasons, with six of them due to a suspension last season, but he's consistently been a threat when on the field. Although his 2022 numbers aren't anywhere near his best, he still managed to total 64 receptions for 717 yards and three touchdowns, averaging 11.2 yards per catch.

That may be drastically low compared to even his most recent impressive season in 2020, but his presence in the Patriots' offense would be an ultimate game-changer and precisely the boost the offense needs.

Of course, several other factors need to be considered in this situation. Besides what Hopkins prioritizes when deciding his next team (chances of making a Super Bowl or a hefty contract), Mac Jones as the quarterback may not be enough to convince him to join that offense.

Additionally, the return of Bill O'Brien as the offensive coordinator may deter Hopkins, as they worked together for six years in Houston, and their relationship has been reported as "difficult" and one of the reasons he was traded to the Cardinals in the first place.

So even if Hopkins is on board with everything that would come with singing in New England, it's possible that an internal force could shut down the signing, primarily depending on who that voice is. Hopefully, Belichick will do his due diligence and speak to Hopkins at the very least, mainly since this offseason focused on improving a stagnant offense.