3 potential Patriots trade packages for All-Pro WR DeAndre Hopkins
The New England Patriots have spent much of the 2023 offseason filling glaring holes on offense and retaining key members of an above average defense.
Sure, the Patriots signing Juju Smith-Schuster, James Robinson, and Mike Gesicki helps form an upgraded pass-catching group from last year on paper, but the team has still failed to address the elephant in the room.
They desperately need a true wide receiver No. 1. The offense currently is much better as constructed, but it would likely still only be in the middle of the league with offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien and the new weapons.
The Patriots need someone that can dictate coverages, be the topic of opponents’ gameplans, and take the burden off the rest of the unit. Getting a true No. 1 receiver unlocks the rest of the offense and will get the most production out of each offensive skill position.
DeAndre Hopkins is that guy.
He’s an elite No. 1 wide receiver that Belichick adores, and fortunately for the Patriots, he’s actually available on the trade market. With Brandin Cooks being shipped off to the Dallas Cowboys and the high asking price for Denver Broncos receiver Jerry Jeudy, the Patriots could pivot to the better of the three in Hopkins.
Let’s take a look at some trade packages that could see the Patriots adding the elite playmaking receiver.
Patriots trade third-round pick (No. 76) and 2024 fifth-rounder for DeAndre Hopkins
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With Brandin Cooks going for a 2023 fifth-round pick and a sixth-rounder in 2024, Patriots fans may feel they can get Hopkins for something similar.
But the truth is Hopkins is in a whole other class.
Although he’s approaching the end of his career, Hopkins may be worth a third-round pick this year and a future fifth-rounder that can turn into a fourth based on playing time and production.
This deal allows the Cardinals to move on from Hopkins, while gaining some value in return for such a high-end player.
The Patriots could play the long game and wait all the way until June to acquire him for a fifth and sixth-round pick. But why wait? Go out and put a cap on the offseason by adding a true No. 1 receiver now, before the draft plays out.
Patriots trade third-round pick (No. 76) and OT Trent Brown for DeAndre Hopkins
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Trent Brown is a possible surprise cut candidate with Conor McDermott, Riley Reiff, and Calvin Anderson all getting some guaranteed money, which ultimately points to their roster spots being solidified.
Brown could go off to Arizona to a Cardinals team that desperately needs offensive line help, and the team would also get back a top-100 pick for a receiver who already looks to be out the door.
Patriots trade third-round pick (No. 76) and LB Josh Uche for DeAndre Hopkins
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This one is a little more unique, as the Patriots could look to extend or move on from one of their homegrown talents.
Regardless of what Arizona does with the No. 3 overall pick of the 2023 NFL draft, they’ll still have one of the worst defenses in the league. Adding an explosive, young pass rusher could bolster that defense in addition to the team possibly going out and drafting another playmaker like Alabama’s Will Anderson.
There’s always a chance Uche could be re-signed by the Patriots down the line, but honestly, if moving on is what it takes to push a deal over the age to get Hopkins, the Patriots should be all in, especially with Uche entering a contract year in 2023.
Resetting the position with a cheaper contract and adding a true No. 1 receiver might be the best case scenario for all parties involved.