The race to sign free agent WR DeAndre Hopkins has officially come to an end and he’s not ending up with the Kansas City Chiefs.
As first reported by AtoZ Sports managing editor Doug Kyed, the Tennessee Titans are expected to sign Hopkins. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports that it will be a 2-year, $26M deal with a base salary of $12 million in the first year. He can earn up to $32M with incentives over the life of the contract.
The Titans are one of two teams that Hopkins visited in free agency, along with the New England Patriots. He’ll return to the AFC South, where he originally began his NFL career, with the Houston Texans.
Free-agent WR DeAndre Hopkins is expected to sign with the Titans, per source. Deal is expected to become official over the next few days.
— Doug Kyed (@DougKyed) July 16, 2023
Despite the odds shifting favorably for Kansas City last week, the Chiefs were always on the outside of these talks until an extension for Chris Jones was completed. As things currently stand, they didn’t even have the cap space to formally offer a contract to Hopkins. Even after a Jones extension, it’s hard to imagine Brett Veach handing out a multi-year deal to Hopkins. An incentive-laden one-year deal was much more likely.
Given the way that Andy Reid and Brett Veach have spoken about the wide receiver room this offseason, Hopkins would have been a luxury signing for Kansas City. When they do happen to get a deal with Jones done, freeing up some much-needed cap space, they can shift their focus to other areas of the roster. There are some other spots that could need assistance, such as the defensive line.