DeAndre Hopkins did good for himself, especially with his “show me the money” demands. The Tennessee Titans got their No. 1 wide receiver, and the fans feel they can contend. Everyone’s happy for now.
I don’t blame Hopkins. The fans whose teams lost out must understand; Hopkins was likely always in it for the money. He stated he wanted stable management, a quarterback who loves the game, and a great defense, but he wanted his payday. He’ll never be mistaken for Kansas City Chiefs TE Travis Kelce, who is on record stating he could get more money elsewhere but values winning more.
One positive we’re hearing, albeit it’s not as important as many are making it out to be – Titans’ head coach Mike Vrabel was the defensive coordinator for the Houston Texans when Hopkins was there. Titans’ offensive coordinator Tim Kelly was also on staff. The truth is, how does this help?
Vrabel was on defense, and Kelly wasn’t the coordinator. This is really a stretch outside of possibly having an edge to convince him to sign, but it does nothing to help the team on the field.
Hopkins’ payday will net him $26 million over two years with incentives that could put the package at $32 million. His incentives (courtesy of Ian Rapoport) for the following categories:
These are outstanding incentives that are reachable for him. Nevertheless, Michael Lombardi has a great take regarding the first two years of A.J. Brown’s deal with the Philadelphia Eagles, which is comparable to what Hopkins will get. It’s a great listen to as you’re looking at a 25-year-old and a grand future being let go and now signing a big name, but one that is 31 years old.
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Let’s not forget that he listed the quarterbacks he would like to play with: Josh Allen of the Buffalo Bills, Jalen Hertz of the Philadelphia Eagles, Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs, Lamar Jackson of the Baltimore Ravens, and Justin Herbert of the Los Angeles Chargers.
First, to each their own. Some may not like it, but a professional player in any sport has a limited shelf life; thus, they’re free to do as they please, not what fans want!
However, that doesn’t prevent us from asking, at this point in his life and where he is financially, does he really need the money? Consequently, with his age, many would think he would want a ring more.
I knew. Shortly after his release, he couldn’t help himself and stated he wanted a payday. With this in mind, that’s why I felt the Titans would remain in the hunt. If any team would overpay, they would.
In their defense, they’re pretty close. Their season in 2022 went down with Tannehill’s ankle injury. As a result, a too-young and too-green small-college rookie, Malik Willis, took the reins. Consequently, anyone with half a brain knew what was coming. It came and came hard – a brutal collapse.
Here’s the reality of Hopkins in the past two years:
Jordan Vanek of the “33rd Team” has a nice breakdown regarding his route running and route tree. Additionally, look for the hook route to create a high volume of targets, and Hopkins will be the beneficiary.
I agree with his assessment that Hopkins is no longer a No. 1 wide receiver but an outstanding number two. In fact, for fantasy football players, this is well worth the read.
Let me warn you about what to expect from him with fantasy football drafts. Overvaluation. Check his ADP (average draft position) versus your projections to determine where he falls, but his name is likely to create a value beyond statistical reality.
This team traditionally goes through RB Derrick Henry. Hence, it’ll start that way as Tannehill and Hopkins develop chemistry. However, with a veteran like Hopkins and a Titans team with too many players and coaches on the hot seat, look for the team to force-feed him. To the point, Tannehill’s forcing passes his way.
He will have a high volume of targets, and if he outproduces skeptics like me, he could be a contender for most targets this season. Although, with his age, if you’re deep at the position, come midseason, you may consider trading him as he is 31, and with wide receivers, once they slow down, the wheels come off quickly!
This heavy saturation will also open it up for second-year wideout Treylon Burks to have some great one-on-one matchups. In fact, if he’s a player with the talent the team thinks he has, Burks could become a sleeper during your draft, while Hopkins is likely to be overvalued based on name recognition.
Sure, Hopkins will dominate with targets, possibly anywhere between 6-8 per game on average. Jamie Eisenberg of Fantasy Football Today has a nice snippet on Tannehill and targets and the fact that the Titans are a run-first team.
This deal is much better than many of us thought he could garner. That’s because we see his injury history, diminishing burst, suspension for PEDs, and that he’s on the wrong side of 30. Regardless, much success to Hopkins, the Titans, their fans, and fantasy football owners.
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