One of the top receivers in football became available over the weekend when DeAndre Hopkins was released by the Arizona Cardinals. For a team like the Philadelphia Eagles, a chance to bring in Hopkins, and complete one of the most dominant offenses in football might be too good of an opportunity to pass up.
Reality is often disappointing though, and what might appear to be an easy move to make might not be the best move for the overall franchise.
In the end, bringing in Hopkins may not be as good a move for the Eagles as fans may want to believe.
The Offensive Fit
It’s hard to argue that Hopkins wouldn’t be a commodity for any contending team. He’s a three-time First-team All-Pro and one of the most complete receivers in football. He has tremendous hands and a big-play ability that has made him a future candidate for Canton.
But that doesn’t mean he is a solid fit for the current Eagles offense. We’ll get to their current receivers later, but Hopkins has made his money as a deep-play wide receiver who doesn’t do a lot after the catch. According to Roto Wire, Hopkins 2.7 yards after the catch were one of the lowest among qualified receivers. To compare, A.J. Brown was third in the NFL last year in average yards after the catch. Yes, the 31-year-old played in just nine games, but for a team like the Eagles who heavily pushes the “yards after catch” metric, there isn’t a major fit for a player like Hopkins right now.
Too many cooks in the kitchen
A common response to the first point made would be that it wouldn’t matter what offense the Eagles run, Hopkins is a huge piece to add to an already lethal offense. To a point, that is understandable. But this isn’t Madden.
Part of why Hopkins wouldn’t be a good fit for the Eagles has to do with the mental aspect. In 2022, the Eagles did everything in their power to have A.J. Brown, DeVonta Smith, and Dallas Goedert happy and healthy with their targets. It certainly worked at times with both Brown and Smith being the first pair of Eagle receivers to go over 1,000 yards receiving in the same year.
But last year wasn’t always easy for the Eagles’ offense. Brown wasn’t exactly pleased with his lack of production throughout the playoffs last year and Smith has been relatively silent in regards to his role with an extension for him looming over the next couple of years.
In short, the Eagles already have plenty of cooks in the kitchen. What happens if Hopkins comes into the crowded room and starts demanding more touches than the others? It would essentially create animosity in a locker room that shouldn’t need to worry about something like this.
From a pure talent standpoint, Hopkins makes a lot of sense for the Eagles. Playing him, the receiver duo, and Goedert on the field at the same time would be a nightmare for every defensive coordinator. But the mental facet of what Hopkins brings, and the fact he doesn’t match what the team preaches are two very big reasons why he probably won’t be signed by the Eagles.
And that certainly isn’t a bad thing.
AP Photo/Bart Young, File