Arbella Early Edition

Why it's more likely Patriots won't sign Hopkins or Cook

"I think Bill Belichick is looking at this team as still in sort of a rebuilding phase."

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We're two weeks away from New England Patriots training camp and both DeAndre Hopkins and Dalvin Cook remain on the free-agent market.

The Patriots have been linked to both players over the last month. Hopkins visited the Patriots at Gillette Stadium on June 15, and New England reportedly was "intrigued" by the idea of signing Cook after the Minnesota Vikings released the four-time Pro Bowl running back.

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Our Phil Perry has been all over the Hopkins saga and has stated his belief that the Patriots need to sign the All-Pro wideout to give their offense an elite option. However, that doesn't mean he believes New England will get a deal done.

On Wednesday's "Arbella Early Edition," Perry explained why he believes it's more likely the Patriots don't sign Hopkins or Cook this summer.

"I think they have a good chance to sign DeAndre Hopkins, but I think what's most likely is that they end up not getting either one," Perry said. "Because I think this is going to come down to the money for both players and I'm not sure the Patriots are going to be the highest bidders.

"I think Bill Belichick is looking at this team as still in sort of a rebuilding phase. And so, even though we know Robert Kraft is desperate to win, and it sounds like he wants the team to be really aggressive, he's left the spending to Bill Belichick. And based on some of what we've seen in terms of how they built their roster, I don't know if they view this as their window to truly contend."

The Boston Globe's Chris Gasper agrees that all signs point toward the Patriots not landing either player.

"I think it's neither because these guys are out there. They don't have huge markets. If they wanted them, they'd be on the Patriots," Gasper said. "I think your best chance to get Hopkins was when he was here. But I would bring him in for the sole fact that you can figure out what you have in Mac Jones. I think it's a good litmus test, as Phil said. But also, you sort of figure out, 'OK, what do we need to win with Mac Jones?'

"This is the problem for me with the Patriots and Bill Belichick, and why I don't think he'll get his mojo back. Because he's still operating like it was the program, the system that won all those games and not the margin for error you have with a great quarterback. You can win with Mac Jones, but you have to build the team completely differently. You have to spend major money on weapons. You have to make sure the stuff around him can elevate him as opposed to a quarterback that can elevate what's around him and cover up for holes."

As of now, the Patriots' wide receiver room consists of DeVante Parker, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Tyquan Thornton, Kendrick Bourne, and rookies Kayshon Boutte and Demario Douglas. Rhamondre Stevenson leads a running back group that includes Pierre Strong Jr., Ty Montgomery, and Kevin Harris.

Oddsmakers don't seem to love the Patriots' chances of landing Hopkins, either. The other team he visited in free agency, the Tennessee Titans, saw their odds to sign Hopkins move from +500 to -300 overnight, per DraftKings Sportsbook.

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