Rumored reports linking the Buffalo Bills to Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins are heating up and free agent Cole Beasley isn’t super happy with the rhetoric being used around the possible trade.
NFL Network‘s Michael F. Florio tweeted on Thursday, March 23, “There’s more and more smoke about DeAndre Hopkins and potentially a trade to the Bills This is the move I’ve wanted Buffalo to make. Last year defenses would throw everything at Diggs, Allen would get away from him and there’d be long periods without scoring. DHop changes that.
“Hopkins would be the best receiver Diggs played with and vice versa. They’d instantly become a top duo in the league. The QB/WR/WR duo would only be matched by the Bengals and maybe Eagles. But the Bills wouldn’t have to worry about extended everyone. Plus, they’ve been trying to invest more into the defense than offense for years. And it hasn’t worked in the playoffs Build around your strength – Josh Allen.”
Cover 1 contributor Ajay Cybulski tweeted, “Another reason why DeAndre Hopkins to the #Bills makes sense: The Bills have fallen short in the playoffs the last two years. Those losses came to the Chiefs and Bengals. The #Chiefs had Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill. The #Bengals have Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins. Now Brandon Beane has his opportunity to bring in a 1-2 punch in Diggs and Hopkins… Learn from the teams you fall short to. Brandon Beane did that last year when the pass rush couldn’t get to Mahomes and he added Von Miller. Now, they fall short of an elite WR duo and Hopkins rumors start to swirl. Just a thought.”
Beasley retweeted Cybulski’s statement and clapped back, “The bills lost to the chiefs scoring 38 points in that playoff game. lol just saying,” to which Cybulski responded, “100% Cole, but adding as much talent around your franchise QB is important. The Chiefs game was was one of the best offensive performances in a playoff game I have seen from both sides, but if you can bring in Deandre Hopkins, that will only help the team offensively.”
Beasley clarified that he’s not hating on Hopkins as a player, but thinks the Bills receivers deserve more respect in the conversation. The 33-year-old receiver retweeted a since-deleted message and added, “No people just love s******* on the bills Wrs and those are my boys… lol.”
Fans Had Mixed Reactions to Beasley’s Tweets
In addition to beefing up the offensive line, finding a solid No. 2 wide receiver to back up Diggs became an obvious need for the Bills following the abrupt end to their postseason run, so fans had a mixed reaction to Beasley’s tweets.
One man responded, “They also scored 10 against the Bengals. It’s an offensive league. Load up as much as possible,” while another fan added, “so how would you fix the defense then? We threw 1st and 2nd round picks at the wall hoping they would stick, threw $100 million at Von for the same result. It’s time to focus on offense.”
The Bills Interest in Hopkins Is Not Just Smoke & Mirrors
While lots of rumored reports fly every offseason, the Bills’ interest in landing Hopkins, 30, appears to be legit. KPRC 2 reporter Aaron Wilson tweeted on Thursday, “Hopkins’ trade market headlined by #Bills, per NFL sources. Five-time Pro Bowl selection has plenty of interest on trade market, but financial expectations might impact any further interest from #Chiefs #Ravens not among bidders.”
There’s no doubt that Hopkins would make for a great addition to the Bills roster, but they would need to restructure his contract to make him fit financially. Spotrac.com tweeted that “a full cap conversion” along with three void years “can lower his $19.45 cap hit” to a much more manageable $4.8 million.
After making a flurry of moves in free agency, restructing several major contracts, and letting many players walk, the Bills have approximately $9.8 million in cap space, and need a good portion of that for the NFL Draft.
When asked about Hopkins to Buffalo trade rumors, Broncos reporter Benjamin Albright tweeted, “There is truth to it. They are exploring that option. Does that mean they 100% land him? No. But they are in.”
SI noted, “The Cardinals will accrue $22.6 million in dead money by trading Hopkins but save over $8 million against the cap this year if dealt before June 1.” In nine games last season, the former first-round pick from the 2013 NFL Draft recorded 64 receptions for 717 yards and three touchdowns while averaging 11.2 yards per catch.