The Falcons have been one of the more active teams this offseason, in the free agent and trade markets. It seems they might not be done big game hunting, either. According to Benjamin Allbright of Sportsnaut, the Falcons are one of the teams with interest and enough draft capital for All-Pro wideout DeAndre Hopkins.
“Teams I’m told are interested with the possible capital to pull off a trade for Hopkins include (but aren’t limited to) the New England Patriots, New York Giants, Tennessee Titans and Atlanta Falcons.”
According to a report from NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, trade talks are ramping up among the teams interested in trading for the Cardinals receiver. Hopkins has two years remaining on his contract and carries a cap hit of $30.7 million next season before it drops to $26.2 million in 2024.
In any trade, Hopkins would likely have to restructure his deal, but the idea is still worth considering for the Falcons. He played nine games in 2022 and piled up 64 catches and 717 yards, but it was his second year in a row missing a significant number of games. Six of those came on the front end of the season via a PED suspension, but Hopkins also was shut down to end 2022 due to knee issues.
Still, his track record is undeniable. Prior to his 2021 campaign, DeAndre Hopkins had posted four straight 1,000-yard seasons, including 1,407 receiving yards in 2020, his first year playing with the Cardinals.
Hopkins’ current base salary of $19.450 million in 2023 and $14.915 million in 2024 are more than palatable if he’s playing at an All-Pro level, but that hasn’t been the case due to a suspension and injuries.
The Falcons just signed Mack Hollins earlier this week, but there’s no debating the kind of impact DeAndre Hopkins would provide. Moreover, the trade compensation wouldn’t even be that much for a Falcons team with an arsenal of draft picks.
Brandin Cooks was traded from Houston to Dallas in exchange for a 2023 fifth-round pick and a 2024 sixth-round pick. Arizona initially sought a second-rounder and additional compensation for Hopkins, but the soon-to-be 31-year-old certainly won’t garner even close to that now.
The Falcons’ timeline doesn’t really match up with a trade for Hopkins, even if they can afford it. Moreover, pouring capital into an aging wideout while the Falcons boast one of the most run heavy offenses in football isn’t wise. I don’t see it happening for several reasons. But damn, it sure would be fun.
Chris Williams/Icon Sportswire
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