All-Pro wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins is reportedly open for business with all 32 teams, but should the Carolina Panthers throw their hat in the ring?
As the Carolina Panthers return to the field for OTAs, speculation continues to mount reading the potential pursuit of wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins. This wouldn't be cheap and others are likely preferred, but it's hard to look at the signing and not think it wouldn't be a significant help to the franchise and new quarterback Bryce Young.
Hopkins was granted a release by the Arizona Cardinals last week after the team failed to find a trade partner. Something that wasn't unexpected when one considers the financial commitments on his deal and the level of compensation his previous employers were seeking.
Now that the All-Pro gets to choose his own destination, there should be any number of willing teams looking to bring him on board. Hopkins is looking for a big-money deal - which rules some of the more cash-strapped teams out - but the Panthers have more than enough salary-cap space available to pull something like this off should they wish.
As it stands currently, the Panthers have $27.24 million in available resources according to Over the Cap. Just what they are saving this for is unclear, but it would be a surprise if it wasn't put to good use once the draft class gets fully signed and a specific amount is kept back for in-season moves.
Carolina Panthers could explore 'open for business' DeAndre Hopkins
ESPN's insider Jeremy Fowler stated on the morning SportsCenter today that Hopkins is reportedly "open for business" for all 32 teams and has ruled absolutely nothing out. Although the preference would likely be to land on a team with a legitimate chance of contending.
This is something the Panthers cannot realistically provide next season unless there is a monumental leap forward. But the promise of a lofty sum coupled with playing closer to home means the proposition would warrant consideration at the very least.
All the rumors and speculation come down to one thing above all else. Nobody knows what is more important to Hopkins.
If it's money, then Hopkins will take the largest offer no matter what a team's aspirations are for the duration of his contract.
If the objective is to win a Super Bowl ring before his career comes to a conclusion, then Hopkins would accept less money and join forces with Patrick Mahomes on the Kansas City Chiefs.
That simple, really. And the only person that knows for sure is Hopkins.
Carolina's current brass has convinced some established veterans with interest from elsewhere to join their ranks this offseason. If they could do the same with Hopkins, it would be the biggest statement of intent to date from head coach Frank Reich and general manager Scott Fitterer.
Whether the Panthers are going to shoot their shot remains to be seen. There's been no sign of unhappiness regarding their current pass-catching options so far after a major revamp via free agency, the draft, and trading D.J. Moore to the Chicago Bears, but Hopkins would instantly become the team's No. 1 option beyond any doubt.
Fitterer has always stated he's in on every deal, which isn't just a catchphrase when one examines his aggressive approach in the aftermath of Matt Rhule's firing. This indicates a call might be made, but whether it amounts to anything more is debatable at best.