Once again, Bill Belichick buys No. 1 wide receivers from Ross. Which does not mean that it is impossible to find good clothes there. Customers just have to be prepared to scour the shelves and try on lots of clothes, especially tops, if they want to find a Randy Moss 60% off. Belichick would wait for the rest of the NFL on DeAndre Hopkins, in his latest review of the racks for a position in which the New England Patriots can’t seem to find the right fit.
THE Arizona Cardinals released Hopkins in May after they couldn’t find him a business partner. That nearly $30 million cap was way too much for them to swallow. Especially when he’s played 19 games over the past two seasons and hasn’t had 10 or more touchdown receptions since 2018.
Hopkins missed seven games for the Cardinals in 2021, first with a hamstring injury, and was placed on injured reserve in December with a torn MCL. In 2022, he missed the first six games of the year for testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance he claims he took by accident. He also missed the last two weeks with a knee injury, and the Cardinals would have been not happy that he did that.
A month after his release, with all off-season practices and minicamps completed, Hopkins still isn’t on a roster. Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer reported on Monday that the Cleveland Browns do not actively pursue reuniting Hopkins with Deshaun Watson. A pairing that resulted in three straight first-team All-Pro appearances for Hopkins. ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio reported that the Patriots appeared to be the favorites to land him, with the Browns and Carolina Panthers in the dark.
Hopkins visited the Patriots in mid-June. While he left without a contract, according to Mike Reiss of ESPN and NFL Network Jason McCourty – a former Patriot himself – both reported that the team’s players believed the the visit went well.
Belichick failed in all his efforts to land a better passer option since Rob Gronkowski retired for the first time. The Patriots drafted N’Keal Harry late in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft ahead of AJ Brown, Deebo Samuel, and Terry McLaurin. In 2021, they brought in Nelson Agholor and Jonnu Smith. In 2022, the Patriots acquired DeVante Parker and Hunter Henry.
No one has made the Pro Bowl for the Patriots as a wide receiver since Wes Welker. They’ve paid nearly $70 million for a talent collection over the past two years that has made no Pro Bowls. The Patriots’ top wide receiver was undrafted free agent Jakobi Meyers who signed with the Las Vegas Raiders in March.
Belichick made the mistake of shopping in Ross’s display section instead of parallel shelves and overspent. He’d go back to that same section if he wanted to sign Hopkins, and hopes this time he’ll find a discount Ralph Lauren shirt.
Hopkins has been tied to teams throughout the offseason. Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec reported that the Baltimore Ravens retreated from the idea of commerce for him before the draft. THE Kansas City Chiefs were chasing Hopkins, but after Odell Beckham Jr. signed for $15 million a year with the Ravens, they got cold feet. Hopkins also met the Tennessee Titans in June. They’re still interested, but when ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported on a Sunday edition of sports center which team Hopkins had a common interest with, it was the patriots.
A typical Belichick move. He avoided the big names during last year’s receiving frenzy, and this year he’s trying to sign a player who was considered the best in the league a few seasons ago. It could be considered clever if he hadn’t already spent so much money on disappointing players in their game.
Belichick chose his store of choice. You won’t find him shopping on Melrose, Fifth Avenue or the Magnificent Mile. When he wants a pass taker, he heads straight for the big store with the big blue sign. Belichick is trying to make his offense sharper for less money.