Since the Arizona Cardinals cut DeAndre Hopkins, a handful of teams are rumored to be potential suitors. The Houston Texans have recently joined the conversation, with various reports claiming he is interested in the Texans. But could that interest be legitimate? Or is it possible he's just trying to drive up his market?
Deandre Hopkins has been enjoying his time in free agency, as rumors have been swirling from all sorts of camps claiming different teams are involved. Hopkins has been seen on Instagram traveling all around, including to Houston and Toronto, Canada. Seemingly, he's trying to create a market for himself. Why would a five-time Pro Bowl receiver need to create a market for themselves?
An anonymous general manager in the NFL recently told SI.com's Albert Breer that DeAndre Hopkins "can't run anymore." On top of that, Hopkins being cut versus traded shows that no one in the league wanted to pay his $19M cap hit that he had with the Cardinals. So, while there could be legitimacy to Hopkins' interest in joining the Texans, what if it is all just a business strategy?
Hopkins has nothing to lose and everything to gain in claiming the Texans as a place he is interested in.
The former All-Pro desires to be paid the highest amount he can get in free agency, and in linking his former team, one with the ninth most cap space in the league as of today, he drives up his price. Hopkins does have family in Houston and familiarity with Houston, so if he does become a Texan, he gains that. For him to return to Houston, it would likely take the Texans having the highest offer by a few million in average annual value or the longest contract.
In naming that he is interested in the Texans, Hopkins puts pressure on the Texans brass to communicate back with him. He has nothing to lose if the Texans never offer or speak to him. It would be the Texans who would get flack from fans and medium members for never reaching out.
Deandre Hopkins should sign with the team in the next few weeks, but until then, I expect him to continue to parade around the country trying to drive up his price in different places. Taking a photograph on this Instagram in Toronto, Canada, while looking at Buffalo Blue gear and taking a photo of NRG stadium and posting it on his Instagram is only putting pressure on those franchises to sign him. So while Hopkins' interest in the Texans could be legitimate, he could also be using the franchise to create a bidding war amongst other franchises that are contenders that he would rather play for in his hunt for a championship.