New reports make DeAndre Hopkins even more intriguing for Pats

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DeAndre Hopkins is the biggest name on the wide receiver trade market this offseason. But if the New England Patriots want to acquire him from the Arizona Cardinals, what would it cost?

According to NFL reporter Mike Jurecki, the Cardinals are looking for a second-round draft pick plus a conditional pick or player in exchange for the five-time Pro Bowler. Considering the Patriots' glaring need for a No. 1 wideout, Bill Belichick should be giving Arizona's front office a call.

Jurecki adds that a Hopkins deal is more likely to take place after free agency begins on March 15.

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Hopkins has two years remaining on his current contract. If a team trades for the 30-year-old this offseason, it will take on salary cap hits of $19.45 million in 2023 and $14.915 million in 2024.

NFL Media's Ian Rapoport reported Wednesday that Hopkins would be flexible on the final two years of his contract rather than looking for a lucrative new deal.

Both of these reports make trading for a player of Hopkins' caliber sound like a no-brainer, so what's the catch?

The Patriots hired Bill O'Brien -- Hopkins' head coach in Houston from 2014-19 -- as their new offensive coordinator. The two had a rocky relationship during their time together which ended with O'Brien trading Hopkins to Arizona in March 2020.

Perhaps O'Brien and Hopkins can put their differences aside in New England, but it's certainly an issue that should be resolved before a deal is made. If they can co-exist, Hopkins would fill a major need as Mac Jones' No. 1 target.

Hopkins tallied 64 catches for 717 yards and three touchdowns in nine games with the Cardinals in 2022.

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