If You’re The Detroit Lions, Do You Sign DeAndre Hopkins?
Yesterday, you read about me speculating about the Detroit Pistons going after soon-to-be free agent Draymond Green.
And that got me thinking about other prominent players, who happen to be free agents, in other sports that the Detroit pro teams could sign. And I came up with another one.
Should the Detroit Lions sign free agent wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (pictured above)?
Hopkins, who just turned 31 in early June, was released by the Arizona Cardinals earlier this spring in a salary cap move.
He has been to the Pro Bowl five times in his ten-year career (seven with the Houston Texans and three with the Arizona Cardinals). But his production has been down the last two years. And in 2022, he was suspended by the NFL for six games for violating the league's drug policy.
Here are a few reasons why they should:
LACK OF DEPTH AT WR
Yes, the Lions have budding star Amon-Ra St. Brown. And they brought back Marvin Jones to help. But with the gambling suspension of Jameson Williams, they are a bit thin at this position. Kalif Raymond and Josh Reynolds are on the team, but aren't as good as Hopkins. And neither is training camp darling the last two years, Tom Kennedy. They could use another guy here.
THEY HAVE SALARY CAP SPACE
The Lions have more than $20 million available to sign him right now. And they could have more when they get down to 53 players in late August/early September. Because of Hopkins' last two years, he won't get elite money. It makes it easier to sign him.
WHEN IN ROME...
If they sign Hopkins, he would be joining the most positive environment that the Lions have had in eons. Maybe if Hopkins comes here, he'll be a star again. Whereas if he joined a bad team, like the team that drafted him in the Houston Texans, he would be a distraction or a negative.
But there are reasons why maybe you shouldn't:
HE'S A RISK
Yes, because of the lack of production the last two years, as well as the suspension, he is a risk to sign at almost any amount of money. Especially, if he starts complaining about not getting the ball. And there's always the risk of injury, this is the NFL after all.
HE'S ON THE DOWN SIDE OF HIS CAREER
If Hopkins plays in 2023, it will be his 11th season. At age 31, he is closer to the end of his career than the beginning. if the laws of diminishing return continues (as it largely has for the Tigers' Miguel Cabrera), he could find himself on the bench or even worse, deactivated for games. That would make his signing useless if you're just going to deactivate him.
I would only sign him if he's willing to take a reasonable contract (no more than two years) for reasonable money. If he demands something like a four or five-year deal, adios DeAndre Hopkins. Go look for another team.