Jonathan Gannon’s Arizona Cardinals officially released DeAndre Hopkins on Friday.
And that means it’s time for the question that simply must be asked any time a noteworthy player becomes available (even if just hypothetically): Should the Philadelphia Eagles sign him?!
If you’re playing Madden, yes. You should definitely add Nuk to the Birds’ roster. Hopkins, A.J. Brown, and DeVonta Smith combine to form the most intimidating wide receiver trio in the NFL.
However, real life isn’t Madden. (I mean, where else can you get this kind of analysis?) It’s just not as straightforward as the Eagles signing Hopkins to upgrade upon Quez Watkins as WR3 without any kind of ramifications.
In the words of James Seltzer, athletes are human beings. They have feelings. Personalities. Egos.
And the Eagles already seem to take caution when it comes to managing the target distribution among their Big 3: Brown, DeVonta, and Dallas Goedert.
Remember how there was a concerted effort to talk up DeVonta and then get him the first target of the game in Week 2 after he didn’t log a catch in Week 1? Remember how A.J. Brown was visibly frustrated on the sideline in a Divisional Round playoff game where the Eagles beat the New York Giants by 31 points?
“They throw the ball to me 100 times, I’m going to want it 101 times. Me personally, I just feel like I can change the game at any moment. Getting the ball often keeps you going, keeps you in a rhythm. It definitely puts you in a zone; you’re locked in. Of course I want the ball.”
It was already a challenge to keep the Big 3 happy with their targets. Adding Hopkins into the mix would further complicate the dynamic. We’re talking about a guy who is averaging 9.4 targets per game over his career.
To put that number in perspective, here’s how many targets each of the Eagles’ Big 3 averaged per game last season:
Brown — 8.5
DeVonta — 8.0
Goedert — 5.75
Together, the trio accounted for 22.25 targets per game. Or 74.2% of Jalen Hurts’ average 30 attempts per game.
The fourth-most targeted member of the offense was the aforementioned Watkins, who only saw three targets per game. Kenneth Gainwell was fifth with 1.7.
If the Eagles can get their top guys to be on board with seeing considerably fewer targets? Doesn’t seem realistic. But it would make a Hopkins signing more possible.
Of course, it’s a two-way street here. Hopkins would also have to be on board with a lesser role. And considering there are a number of teams with greater target volume to offer, it’s hard to believe Philly would be his top preference.
Then again, Hopkins did say Hurts is one of the few quarterbacks he’d ideally like to play with.
On a recent appearance on the “I Am Athlete” podcast, free-agent WR DeAndre Hopkins listed the five QBs he’d most like to catch passes from: the Bills’ Josh Allen, the Eagles’ Jalen Hurts, the Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes, the Ravens’ Lamar Jackson and the Chargers’ Justin Herbert.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) May 26, 2023
So, never say never.
But, while certainly fun to think about, Hopkins signing with the Eagles doesn’t seem likely to happen. If you disagree, well, you can head on over to our friends at DraftKings Sportsbook to place a bet on Hopkins’ next landing spot. Seven teams have shorter odds than the Eagles:
Teams with the best odds to land DeAndre Hopkins, per @DKSportsbook pic.twitter.com/WMYqF4e12L— Pride of Detroit (@PrideOfDetroit) May 26, 2023
If you bet $100 on the Eagles to sign Hopkins and they do, you’ll be $2,000 richer.
SHOULD the Eagles sign DeAndre Hopkins?
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WILL the Eagles sign DeAndre Hopkins?
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