DeAndre Hopkins is officially available to sign elsewhere, as the Arizona Cardinals stunned the NFL world by releasing the perennial Pro Bowl wide receiver Friday morning. Right away, the New York Giants surfaced as a strong potential suitor, especially after DHop was spotted with a Giants star.
Viral Photo Sparks DeAndre Hopkins-New York Giants Connection
Hopkins was captured a few weeks ago working out alongside Giants RB Saquon Barkley.
While it’s common for star athletes in the NFL to perform offseason work with players from another team, that viral photo still brings a lot of substance into the possibility of Hopkins heading to the Giants.
The Giants already made one splashy offseason move by trading for Pro Bowl tight end Darren Waller. They’re also coming off the heels of a postseason appearance in the first season of the Brian Daboll era.
And with the current state of the Giants’ wideout room, Hopkins is just the guy to give this offense a new match to light the fire.
How Hopkins Could Mesh With Daniel Jones
For starters, the Giants’ WR unit underwhelmed last season, as no one caught more than 60 receptions from quarterback Daniel Jones. Richie James and Barkley led the way with 57 catches. The Giants also ranked 26th in aerial yardage.
Waller is a strong get, as the Giants have that proverbial matchup nightmare with the TE’s towering 6’7″ frame and uncanny speed for his size. Jones has already taken a liking to Waller when speaking with the New York media Thursday.
But Waller will command a lot of attention, and he’ll need someone to bail him out on occasion. Plus, the G-Men don’t want Jones locking onto Waller every down. That’s where the Giants can add another mismatch with Hopkins.
Daboll’s offense is reliant on mesh concepts and crossing routes to confuse defenses. With Barkley in the fold, play action becomes an enhanced strength with Hopkins on board as a linebacker and safety can potentially bite on the fake run — allowing Hopkins to take advantage of the newfound space. Hopkins has become known for being a space attacker throughout his career and is skilled at finding the exposed opening and moving the chains.
Stefon Diggs’ relationship with Dabool could also serve as a strong recruiting pitch for Hopkins should the Giants make a run at the veteran receiver. Diggs caught 127 and 103 receptions in 2020 and 2021, respectively, with Daboll as the offensive coordinator of the Buffalo Bills. Hopkins has the chance to become the Diggs for the Giants’ offense.
Anthony Rivardo, the Giants writer for Empire Sports Media, believes the G-Men should look into the All-Pro.
“Yes, I do think the Giants should check in and see what DeAndre Hopkins’ interest is in joining Big Blue. A fully healthy offense featuring Saquon Barkley, Darren Waller, and Hopkins under Brian Daboll’s coaching could be ELITE. Worth exploring,” Rivardo said.
But would the Giants have room for Hopkins? Per Fox Sports NFC East reporter Ralph Vacchiano, New York has the third-most cap room to work with among division teams at $6.1 million.
PFN’s Dalton Miller adds that a Hopkins deal at his next stop “won’t be cheap” and could be similar to what Odell Beckham signed with the Baltimore Ravens.
Still, DHop joining New York could erase their low yardage output from a year ago and place Hopkins in an offense where he could return to being a 100-catch wideout.
Furthermore, this potential addition gives the Giants even more leverage in challenging the rival Philadelphia Eagles for the NFC East throne.