DeAndre Hopkins was recently released by the Arizona Cardinals, who were unable to find a trade partner for the Pro Bowl wide receiver. Following months of speculation, he's now able to go anywhere he chooses and while the Cleveland Browns feel like a long shot, there's still a glimmer of hope that they could bring him in.
The main reason for this hope is the presence of Deshaun Watson, who was the quarterback for the Houston Texans when Hopkins was blossoming into an NFL star.
Hopkins and Watson haven't played together since 2019 but they've stayed in touch according to Watson. While speaking with Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com, he also added that Cleveland would "love to have" Hopkins.
"He’s always been a brother of mine since I was coming out of high school. Our connection, our relationship has always been great. And I know there’s a lot of things swirling around in the media about him possibly coming to Cleveland. For me, my answer to that is, of course we’d love to have him."- Watson, via Mary Kay Cabot
Do the Cleveland Browns need DeAndre Hopkins?
While it's true Hopkins is an elite player, there are legit questions as to whether or not the Browns need to bring him in. Right now, they have a crowded depth chart at receiver, led by Amari Cooper, Elijah Moore, and Donovan Peoples-Jones.
It's hard to argue that Hopkins isn't better than any of these players but the Browns have built their receiving corps up pretty well over the past two seasons.
Adding Hopkins would be an improvement, but it would also be expensive. Reports have surfaced that he's looking for a "significant" contract now that he's on the open market. For Cleveland, this could be the deal breaker since they're not exactly loaded with cap space.
So while Watson is right in saying the Browns would love to have Hopkins, it doesn't feel like there's much of a chance of that happening at this time.