With the 2023 NFL Trade Deadline around the corner (Tuesday, Oct. 31), teams that hope to contend are starting to make moves. The Philadelphia Eagles proved this when they traded for Kevin Byard from the Tennessee Titans and that could prompt the Cleveland Browns to make a phone call before the deadline.
Tennessee is on the opposite end of the spectrum, meaning their season has fallen off the rails. That's led to a belief that everyone is available which includes DeAndre Hopkins.
Hopkins, who is in his 11th season in the NFL, was connected to the Browns throughout the offseason following his release from the Arizona Cardinals. Prior to his time with Arizona, Hopkins spent seven years with the Houston Texans and was there during Deshaun Watson's early days in the league.
With Hopkins available, Watson made it known that he wanted to be paired with the former All-Pro once again. Despite this, Cleveland never made a strong pursuit and Hopkins then signed with the Titans.
After six games, he has 27 receptions for 376 yards but has yet to score a touchdown. He's also been dealing with a lackluster offense that could hold any wideout back.
Browns need to try and salvage Deshaun Watson
With Hopkins reportedly on the block, Cleveland could be ready to re-think their decision to pass on him in free agency. They believed their receiver corps was good enough but Watson still struggled with them before suffering his shoulder injury.
Frustration has mounted among the fan base due to the communication on Watson's injury but this pairing isn't ending anytime soon. Watson's contract is fully guaranteed, meaning he's with the franchise for the next three seasons beyond 2023.
With that being the case, they have to find a way to make him comfortable in their offense. Perhaps making a move for Hopkins would be enough for that to happen once he's back on the field.
At this point, it feels as though they have to try anything they can to salvage this situation and while it made sense to skip on D-Hop in the offseason, maybe it's what they need to get the most out of Watson.