NFL Executives Say DeAndre Hopkins “Can’t Run Anymore”

rsz deandrehopkins 2021 usatoday
rsz deandrehopkins 2021 usatoday

DeAndre Hopkins isn’t long removed from being one of the most productive wide receivers in the league. But according to some NFL executives, he may not be worth what he once was due to some diminishing skills.

Hopkins spent the last three seasons as an Arizona Cardinal, and was mostly unimpressive for the final two. He caught a combined 106 passes between those two years, missing a total of 15 games due to injuries and a suspension. Brought in to be the dynamic pass catcher that Kyler Murray needed in order to be successful, the Hopkins project was mostly a bust for the Cardinals.

DeAndre Hopkins May Have Lost A Step, According To NFL Execs

His contract wasn’t helping. Hopkins’ two-year deal paid him over $27 million per year, a number that Arizona was no longer willing to pay given the dip in production. So the team cut ties, a move which was made official on Tuesday. The Cardinals will eat over $22 million in dead cap money for the upcoming season.

There have been rumors that the Bills and Chiefs are interested in the services of DeAndre Hopkins, but there are some around the league who believe that he has lost a step.

According to Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated, one NFL executive had some issues with Hopkins’ downfield ability. When asked about what value the wide receiver could add to a team:

“Not much. He can’t run anymore.”

There was another executive, specifically an AFC one, who doubled down on that notion. The source said that Hopkins still has great hands, but isn’t going to separate enough to be much of a deep threat.

This doesn’t make Hopkins worthless. Both sources also pointed out that he is still a strong and physical player who can still run solid routes, and still possesses the excellent hands that help make difficult catches.

It is unclear how much money DeAndre Hopkins will demand on the open market, but he may wind up getting less than he’s looking for given his current skills reputation. There has been plenty of discussion about where he may end up, and Buffalo has been the early favorite. There was also a clip coming out of Browns camp in which Deshaun Watson, Hopkins’ former teammate in Houston, says that he would welcome the wide receiver to Cleveland.

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