Sean Pendergast

Vegas Odds on Former Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins Next Team

DeAndre Hopkins is unlikely to wear a Texans uniform again any time soon.
DeAndre Hopkins is unlikely to wear a Texans uniform again any time soon. Photo by Eric Sauseda
After his release last week from the Arizona Cardinals, wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins finds himself in new territory. For the first time in his NFL career, Hopkins is a free agent, free to choose where he plays football for possibly the remainder of his career (or at least until his NEXT employer gets tired of him like the Arizona Cardinals may have).

Hopkins' recruitment world tour will be one of the more interesting storylines to play out over the next several weeks. I could very well see Hopkins journey to his next stop lasting into training camp, as participating in actual NFL practices has never been one of Hopkins' favorite hobbies.

We do know that Hopkins will play again, it's just a question of where and for what salary, and in a world with a salary cap, those two things become more inextricably linked with teams having used much fo their cap space to retain existing players and purchase new ones already this offseason. So where will it be for Hopkins? The Action Network posted the following odds over the weekend:
Chiefs +300
Bills +300
Jets +600
Ravens +700
Chargers +950
Cowboys +1000
Lions +1200
Patriots +1200
Eagles +1500
Jaguars +1500
Browns +2000
49ers +2000
Saints +2000
Bears +2500
Giants +3000
Rams +3000
First, before I give a favorite, a medium shot, and a long shot that I like, I'll point out to Texan fans that the Texans are not on the board for a reason — It's not a fit for either side. Hopkins doesn't want to break in a young quarterback, and the Texans likely feel that they aren't at a stage where splurging on a 32 year old Hopkins is the right thing to do (even if it might be).

For what it's worth, these would be my three plays at each tier of the odds board:

BEST SHORT SHOT (less than +1000): KANSAS CITY CHIEFS +300
The teams at this level of the odds board are either paying top tier quarterbacks over $45 million per year, meaning cap space is an issue, or they're just not very good (what's up, Vegas?). If Hopkins is going to take less than market value, he is likely going to want to maximize his chances of winning a Super Bowl, so there is no better place to do that than with the best player on the planet at quarterback for the defending Super Bowl champions.

BEST MEDIUM SHOT (+1000 to +2000): DETROIT LIONS +1200
I will admit that placing Hopkins in a reunion with Deshaun Watson in Cleveland was tempting, and the rumor mill is putting out smoke that Hopkins may be open to that. Certainly, Bill O'Brien's presence in New England as the offensive coordinator mitigates the Patriots' chances. So how about insane Dan Campbell and the Lions? They have a veteran QB (Jared Goff) coming off his best season, a dynamic offense, and they're the favorites to win their division in a conference with very few Super Bowl contenders. They also have plenty of cap space to get a deal done. Watch Detroit.

BEST LONG SHOT (greater than +2000): NEW YORK GIANTS +3000
Hopkins, in all his glorious swag, just feels like a fit for New York City, and the Giants could use a weapon for newly enriched QB Daniel Jones. I would imagine Hopkins may want to know what the Saquon Barkley situation looks like before signing in New York. Right now, the running back has not signed (and has said he will not sign) his franchise tag offer sheet.

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Sean Pendergast is a contributing freelance writer who covers Houston area sports daily in the News section, with periodic columns and features, as well. He also hosts the morning drive on SportsRadio 610, as well as the pre-game and post game shows for the Houston Texans.
Contact: Sean Pendergast