DeAndre Hopkins was recently released by the Arizona Cardinals in a salary-cap saving move. The Atlanta Falcons are familiar with such a move as Hopkins will count over $22 million in dead-cap space according to Spotrac.
Atlanta had a record $83.6 million in dead-cap money last year after moving on from Matt Ryan and Julio Jones among others.
The Falcons have a need for another-true wide receiver beyond Drake London. ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported that Hopkins hasn’t ruled out anyone to this point.
“Few notes on DeAndre Hopkins after asking around: Open-minded about teams league-wide,” wrote Fowler on Twitter. No short list I’m aware of. Prepared to be patient. Minicamp could be considered a soft deadline, training camp a harder deadline. Taking free agent visits a possibility.”
The Falcons are in the bottom half of the NFL in available-salary cap space according to Spotrac. They could work a deal that would keep his cap number under $10 million in 2023. Say 3-years and $60 million with $25 million guaranteed?
That’s essentially a one-year, $25-million deal with two-option years and an initial cap hit of roughly $8 million.
Financially it can be done without making a long-term commitment to a wide receiver that turns 31 next week. Many of the Falcons free-agent deals including Calais Campbell and Bud Dupree are one-year deals. Atlanta will have a lot of cap space again next season as they continue to build the roster for the long term.
But would it make sense for the Falcons and Hopkins?
Probably not for either party.
Yes, the Falcons could use another wide receiver, but Hopkins will likely look for a team with a more established quarterback and better perceived chances of making a Super Bowl.
An offense with Kyle Pitts, Drake London, Cordarrelle Patterson, Tyler Allgeier, Bijan Robinson, and DeAndre Hopkins to go along with one of the best offensive lines in football would be a tantalizing prospect for Atlanta Falcons fans.
There’s a chance… but it isn’t likely to happen.