Could the Cleveland Browns trade for Deandre Hopkins over the offseason?

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Adam Derewecki /

With all but four teams eliminated from playoff contention, rumors have been swirling around the league about potential shakeups in the rosters of the other 28 teams. One of the rumors that has caught a fair amount of traction over the past few days has been Deandre Hopkins potentially forcing his way off of the Arizona Cardinals. A team that his name has been heavily tied to is the Cleveland Browns. This would be a big boost to the Cleveland receiving room, however, there would be a lot that would have to happen to make this deal possible. We will break down why Hopkins likely wants out of Arizona, what the Browns could potentially give up to make the deal happen, what Hopkins would add to the Browns’ roster, and finally how likely this deal is to happen. 

Hopkins’ Stint With the Arizona Cardinals

Deandre Hopkins joined the Arizona Cardinals after being traded from the Houston Texans. The deal sent Hopkins and a fourth round pick to the Cardinals, and in return, the Texans received David Johnson and a second round pick. Hopkins was brought in to help develop young quarterback Kyler Murray, however, it appears that that relationship could be part of the reason that Hopkins is looking to leave the team. 

He has seen great on the field success with the Cardinals since being traded to the team. He has struggled through some injuries during his time in Arizona, however, whenever he has been able to suit up, he has still be one of the top receivers in the league. This season there were a handful of incidents in which Murray would get into screaming matches with Hopkins or head coach Cliff Kingsbury. With Kingsbury being fired shortly after the season and Hopkins now looking for a new team, the writing is on the wall on what happened in Arizona. 

What Could the Browns Give Up?

Last season, the Cleveland Browns gave up a motherload to get quarterback Deshaun Watson. As a result of this, they do not have many draft picks left to give up in a trade. Despite this, with Hopkins being a veteran on a big contract, it should not take a whole lot to get him. Last season, the Browns were able to turn a 5th round pick into Amari Cooper who went on to be the team’s number one receiver last season.

What Hopkins Would Add to the Team

Outside of Cooper, there is not much to Cleveland’s receiving room. Donovan Peoples-Jones and David Bell have shown some potential as young players. However, with the Browns now being in a win now mode, they cannot wait for one of these players to develop into a true number two receiver. As a result of this, the addition of Hopkins would allow him to take over as the number one target on the team and Cooper could side to two. 

How Likely Is This Deal to Happen?

With the Browns not having much draft capital, it is unlikely they are willing to give up one of their few valuable future picks even if it is to get a huge talent like Hopkins unless Watson is dead set on having his old elite wideout back. However, if the price is right for Cleveland GM Andrew Berry to pull the trigger on the deal, the Browns can restructure a few of the players’ contracts to fit Hopkins’ contract.