The Chicago Bears Should Not Sign DeAndre Hopkins

The Arizona Cardinals officially released wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins on May 26th after failing to find a trade partner. Hopkins will draw a lot of interest in the open market.

Hopkins is an experienced number-one receiver. In ten seasons, he has played for two teams, made the Pro Bowl five times, was named First Team All-Pro three times by the Associated Press, and has six seasons of at least 1,100 receiving yards. In his career, Hopkins has amassed 11,298 receiving yards and 71 receiving touchdowns on 853 receptions. Despite Hopkins’ impressive resumé, several factors indicate the Chicago Bears should not sign him.

According to Spotrac, Hopkins’ market value is around $23.2 million. Spotrac estimates that he could receive a three-year contract worth $69.62 million. The Bears have the most salary cap in the league, with $32.37 million available. Given what Hopkins will likely demand, I think the Bears’ available cap space should be spent on a free agent edge rusher.

DeAndre Hopkins will turn 31 in June. The Bears only have three players on their roster that are 30 years or older. When Poles became the general manager of the Bears, his first major move was trading Khalil Mack to the Los Angeles Chargers. Mack was 31 years old when he was traded. Additionally, Poles traded Robert Quinn to the Philadelphia Eagles last year. Quinn was 32 years old when the trade happened. Poles has made it clear that he wants talented young players, not old veterans.

Suspensions and Fines
In his career, Hopkins has been fined five times and suspended once. According to Spotrac, he was fined for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, a uniform violation, throwing a football into the stands, verbal abuse towards a referee and a taunting penalty. But, the biggest blemish on Hopkins’ resumé is his use of performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs). In 2022, Hopkins was suspended six games for violating the NFL’s PED policy. The Arizona Cardinals had a 2-4 record in the six games he missed. The Bears can’t afford to bring in a player that has past experiences with PEDs because it could potentially destroy the locker room culture that Ryan Poles is trying to build. If you think he will bring in a controversial player, think again. Poles set a precedent for his tenure as a general manager when he steered clear of drafting Jalen Carter.

At this stage of his career, Hopkins wants to play for a Super Bowl contender. According to Albert Breer, the Kansas City Chiefs and the Buffalo Bills were the only teams engaged in significant trade talks for Hopkins.

The Chiefs and Bills are almost guaranteed to make the playoffs for the foreseeable future. The Detroit Lions, Dallas Cowboys, and New England Patriots have also been rumored as possible landing spots for the veteran receiver.

On May 22nd, Hopkins appeared on the I Am Athlete podcast. Former Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall asked Hopkins to list some quarterbacks he would like to play with. Josh Allen, Jalen Hurts, Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson, and Justin Herbert were the quarterbacks he named. As good as Justin Fields may be, Hopkins did not put him on his list.

In addition to that, Marshall asked Hopkins, “Do you want to catch a ball from a young player, or are you past that point in your career?” Hopkins confirmed that he doesn’t want to play with younger quarterbacks at this stage in his career.

Bears Current Receiving Corps
The Bears already have a crowded wide receiver room. The Bears have traded for Chase Claypool and DJ Moore in the past six months. Claypool and Darnell Mooney are in contract years, and the Bears need to evaluate their future with the team. If the front office brought in Hopkins, determining if either player deserved an extension would make it extremely difficult. The Bears also have rookie Tyler Scott and second-year wideout Velus Jones Jr waiting in the wings. Tight ends Cole Kmet and Robert Tonyan will also be free agents after this season. The Bears should refrain from bringing in a 31-year-old receiver that could prohibit younger pass catchers from developing. Hopkins’ high asking price, age, use of PEDs, reluctance to play with young quarterbacks, and the stage of the Bears’ receiving room signal that the Bears shouldn’t sign him.

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x