The Kansas City Chiefs have consistently been connected to WR DeAndre Hopkins this offseason. Whether it was trade rumors or reports of interest following his release, the All-Pro wideout has been coupled with the reigning Super Bowl champions this offseason.
As of Thursday, July 6, the 31-year-old receiver remains a free agent, despite taking visits with the Tennessee Titans and New England Patriots. Is Hopkins any closer to signing a deal with a team with training camps set to begin in less than two weeks?
Speaking on ESPN’s SportsCenter, Jeremy Fowler provided an update on Hopkins’ status and the Chiefs’ pursuits.
“Well the Chiefs have kept in contact — I’m told — with DeAndre Hopkins’ camp,” Fowler said. “They have some interest. The problem is money. They don’t have much of it. They’re really tight on the salary cap. If they extend DT Chris Jones, who has a $28 million cap hit, that would free up some money where they could go after Hopkins a little more aggressively. But that deal might not happen until closer to training camp or even after. So, I would consider the Chiefs on the periphery right now with the Titans and Patriots, who hosted Hopkins in for a visit a couple of weeks ago, still firmly in the mix.”
Fowler’s update just a week ago seemed a bit more optimistic than his recent take. This report echoes that one, linking finances and a Chris Jones extension to any potential deal with Hopkins for the Chiefs. The team still has the least salary cap space in the NFL, so until an extension for Jones happens, they’re on the outside looking in for this free agent race.
The only thing they have going for them is that Hopkins hasn’t made his decision and one doesn’t seem imminent. If the Chiefs can get a deal done with Jones in a timely fashion, perhaps they can scrape together the funds to put together a competitive offer compared to the Patriots and Titans. They certainly can offer a better situation as the reigning Super Bowl champions.
The waiting game continues.