Arbella Early Edition

Breer: Hopkins, Belichick had ‘quite a bit of 1-on-1 time'

DeAndre Hopkins' free-agent visit with the Patriots seems to have been productive.

NBC Universal, Inc.

DeAndre Hopkins' two-day free-agent visit with the New England Patriots has concluded. Although the two sides didn't strike a deal, it appears the meeting was productive.

Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer shared some intel from Hopkins' visit on Arbella Early Edition.

"He got quite a bit of 1-on-1 time with Bill Belichick," Breer revealed. "Which I think is significant because the fit is the biggest question here. And to me, this was going to be a matter of the two sides becoming comfortable with where the other was and selling each other on one another."

Next Pats Podcast: Who’s the odd man out if the Patriots sign DeAndre Hopkins? | Listen & Follow | Watch on YouTube

Before the Patriots hosted Hopkins, league sources told our Phil Perry that they didn't see the five-time Pro Bowler as a "program fit" for New England. Hopkins' tendency to skip practices didn't seem to mesh with the "Patriot Way."

But, as Breer notes, Hopkins' time with Belichick may have given them a chance to get on the same page.

"There's things that you're gonna have to live with here," Breer said. "He's got an injury history. He doesn't practice very much. He's gonna need volume. He's gonna need the ball quite a bit to be fully what he's been in the past. So there are things that you're gonna sign up for with DeAndre Hopkins. You've got to get yourself to a comfort level that you're willing to sign up for him.

"I've been told the last couple of days that this deal was going to have to happen on Bill's terms. Does sitting down with DeAndre Hopkins make Bill's terms more flexible? Does Bill feel better about it? Do his terms change and get closer to what DeAndre Hopkins' terms are? That's what I think is so interesting about the fact the two sat down together today."

In response to Breer's report, 98.5 The Sports Hub's Rob "Hardy" Poole stated that if Hopkins does end up in Foxboro, Belichick will be the biggest reason why.

"I do think it's significant and a good sign if you want DeAndre Hopkins on the Patriots that he spent a significant amount of time with Bill Belichick," Hardy said. "Because when you're talking about what is the draw for this player who really has his choice of at least a few places to go that can fit his game and can afford him. The draw for New England, sorry, it's not Mac Jones. It's not a guaranteed, surefire offensive system. ... The draw is Bill."

The Athletic's Jeff Howe shed some light on Hopkins' visit Thursday evening, stating "there's still a level of optimism" that a deal could get done and the Patriots are "making a push" to land the star wide receiver. Henry McKenna of FOX Sports added that the Patriots "had a successful visit with DeAndre Hopkins and a deal is realistic."

Hopkins leaving Gillette Stadium without a deal means the Patriots may be left waiting until training camp in late July for his decision. But based on what we know from the visit, which included a photo of Hopkins alongside Matthew Judon in the Pats locker room, New England remains on his shortlist of potential destinations.

You can watch the full "Early Edition" clip in the video player above.

Contact Us