As the DeAndre Hopkins circus continues with training camp nearing, not much has been said regarding where the receiver stands on the teams he has visited with and if he favors one over the other.
His time spent with the Patriots and Titans was reported to have gone well, with both teams remaining in contact with Hopkins since then. It was also revealed that the Chiefs remain interested in getting a deal done, but their limited cap space is the primary factor halting it.
If given a choice between the Chiefs, Patriots, and Titans, it seems fair to assume Hopkins would go to the team that gives him the best chance to win a Super Bowl, especially as it is something he is yet to experience in his NFL career.
At the same time, however, he could choose to go where the money is if that drives him to sign with one team over the other. What his priorities are, and what he ends up doing could be completely different things, and unfortunately, we're going to have to wait to see what that ultimately ends up being.
But since the Chiefs would likely become the frontrunner in signing Hopkins if they can clear the cap space to do so, what would happen with Bill Belichick and the Patriots if they miss out on signing him after all they've done to make it happen to this point?
In his weekly Patriots wrap-up on Sunday, ESPN's Mike Reiss revealed that the latest chatter suggests the Titans have been more aggressive in their pursuit of Hopkins than the Patriots.
Although a deal doesn't appear imminent between the two, this could become a more significant issue for the Patriots as they attempt to persuade Hopkins to sign with them.
"The Tennessee Titans and Patriots have made offers, the Titans have been more aggressive to this point and Hopkins hasn’t been in a rush to sign. One reason for Hopkins to wait a bit longer is to leave open the possibility of another team entering the mix, potentially increasing his market."
Because of the rumored tension behind the scenes between Belichick and owner Robert Kraft stemming from the Patriots' lack of success over the last three seasons, watching Hopkins sign elsewhere for the 2023 season could be a complete disaster.
We know Kraft is in complete win-now mode, and typically, Belichick has been right there with him, but things have been a bit different since Tom Brady left.
The urgency to win was apparent as Brady was aging and presumably nearing the end of his career. The thought of Brady retiring became an annual conversation during the last few seasons the quarterback spent in New England. So that mentality made sense at the time.
Fast forward to where the Patriots find themselves now; they're still working through a rebuilding phase that all teams go through after losing a major piece like a franchise quarterback. The need to win is still there, just less prominent than in the past.
But being patient isn't a strong suit for many, nor does it bode well for those involved in the NFL. Sports are a "what have you done for me lately?" type of business, and Belichick has not been coaching the team to wins since the 2020 season.
Because of that, Kraft has appeared to have grown significantly disappointed and impatient, making the move to sign Hopkins more dire for Belichick to increase the chances of a successful 2023 season.
And if that doesn't happen, what does that mean for the Patriots' potential this year?
What could it mean for the future of the organization with Belichick?
It seems unlikely that Kraft would choose to move on from Belichick, given his insurmountable success over the last two decades. But if he really is unsatisfied with the direction of the roster and the team, nothing would be out of the question, right?