The Atlanta Falcons have been rumored as a potential landing spot via trade for 3-time first-team All-Pro wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins this offseason.
That hasn’t really changed, but how the Falcons could acquire him has.
The Arizona Cardinals announced the release of Hopkins on May 26. Team editor Darren Urban wrote the wideout’s release came after the Cardinals were “unable to find a trade partner.“
After Hopkins’ release Friday, rumors began to swirl where he could land in free agency. ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler named the Falcons one of nine potential landing spots.
“Atlanta has been unafraid to spend this offseason while enjoying the fruits of a quarterback on a rookie contract,” Fowler wrote. “Its pass-catching core is young, but the presence of Hopkins could spice up Arthur Smith’s offense.”
SB Nation’s Kevin Knight agreed. While he admitted to being against the Falcons trading for Hopkins, he found no fault in the team seeking a deal with the receiver in free agency.
The Falcons have added three wide receivers in free agency this offseason — Mack Hollins, Scotty Miller and Penny Hart. All three should nicely compliment top receiver Drake London and the team’s plethora of potential pass-catchers at tight end and running back.
But Hollins, Miller and Hart do not have the talent or the experience Hopkins does. From 2017-19, Hopkins was arguably the best receiver in the league, as he posted three straight campaigns with at least 100 catches and 1,100 receiving yards.
He will turn 31 in June. But even last year, he averaged nearly 80 yards and more than 7 catches per game.
In the offensive-driven NFL, teams can never have enough weapons. That’s especially true for teams developing a young quarterback.
Hopkins would be a tremendous weapon for the Falcons to add to what they’ve already done this offseason. As Knight argued, general manager Terry Fontenot would be wise to at least inquire about the receiver’s asking price.