What the Patriots would likely have to pay to sign DeAndre Hopkins

Los Angeles Rams v Arizona Cardinals
Los Angeles Rams v Arizona Cardinals / Norm Hall/GettyImages

It's another day, and yes, we're still discussing the possibility of DeAndre Hopkins signing with the Patriots.

Now that he has been officially released as of Tuesday morning and reportedly has representation that he didn't have prior, one of the biggest topics of conversation remains about how much signing Hopkins would cost.

At this point, it's unclear what the receiver is chasing; Super Bowl wins or the money. But since he's now in control of where he signs, he may be hoping to land somewhere that could give him both. Fortunately for the Patriots, they could at least provide one of those things, keeping them in contention.

In regards to what Hopkins is looking for in a contract, Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer discussed what the receiver is likely worth to teams around the league, suggesting it won't be anywhere close to what the Cardinals were set to pay for the 2023 season.

"My guess would be that the market bears something around half of what he would’ve made on his now terminated deal in 2023, with some incentives to get him closer to being whole. But at this juncture of the offseason, even getting there could be a challenge."

Hopkins was due $19.45 million this upcoming season, making Breer's speculation mean he could be making around $10 million on another team.

The problem is Odell Beckham Jr.'s contract from earlier this year. He didn't play during the 2022 season due to injury but still managed to sign a one-year, $15 million with the Ravens. Breer noted that was one reason why potential trades with the Chiefs ended, as Hopkins was hoping to be paid similarly to OBJ, but he may be out of luck now that he's a free agent.

The Patriots could afford him if he were willing to take closer to the $10 million. They currently sit at just over $13 million in remaining cap space, according to PatsCap. After that, however, they would have to make some moves to sign their remaining rookies.

But if Hopkins was looking for more than Breer's projected salary, the Patriots may have to abandon any plans to sign him. They certainly could alter some players' contracts to open more cap space if they want to sign Hopkins, but would it be worth it?

That all depends on how Bill Belichick views him.

From what Breer has heard when speaking to a few executives around the league, there's a "healthy divide on exactly what Hopkins has left." However, based on what we saw from Belichick last season when speaking to Hopkins before the Patriots game in Arizona, it doesn't appear the head coach believes his performance has altered much in recent years.

So it all comes down to Hopkins' desires.

Does he want the best chance of winning a Super Bowl?

Does he want the most expensive contract he can get?

We should find out soon enough.