The NFL’s top free agent on the market, wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, is no longer representing himself as he searches for his next team.
According to NFL Network, Hopkins has hired Klutch Sports Group’s Kelton Crenshaw to advise him during free agency following his release from the Arizona Cardinals.
Hopkins was released Friday, ending his three-year stint with the organization. The Cardinals will take a $22.6 million dead cap hit with his release.
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Crenshaw's list of clients has NFL fans in a frenzy as they speculate where the Pro Bowl receiver will end up.
Crenshaw has heavy NFC East ties, with the Philadelphia Eagles’ DeVonta Smith, New York Giants’ Kayvon Thibodeaux and Washington Commanders’ Chase Young among his clients, per NFL Network.
Fans believe Hopkins is heading to one of the four teams in the NFC East.
While many teams are surely interested in adding a talent like Hopkins, finances definitely come into play here. If we’re looking at the NFC East, the team with the most cap space, according to OverTheCap.com, would be the reigning NFC champion Eagles.
They have about $13.45 million to work with, and GM Howie Roseman has been swinging aggressively in pursuit of another Super Bowl title. The Eagles fell just short last year in a Super Bowl loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.
But quarterback Jalen Hurts is signed to a long-term deal, and Hopkins did mention recently on the “I Am Athlete” podcast that Hurts would be a quarterback he’d like to play with.
Crenshaw represents Smith, who has quickly developed into a favored option for Hurts along with A.J. Brown. Brown was traded from the Tennessee Titans to the Eagles during last year’s NFL Draft, and he became the team’s top receiver in a heartbeat.
The rich would certainly be getting richer if Hopkins landed in Philly.
Then there’s the Dallas Cowboys, who are also searching for that elusive Vince Lombardi trophy. While the Eagles are stacked already on offense, the Cowboys have been in the market for another top receiver to go with CeeDee Lamb and Dak Prescott. They added Brandin Cooks this offseason, but with $10.5 million in cap space, Jerry Jones may be able to move some money around to afford Hopkins.
As for the Giants and Commanders, they’re low on cap space right now. New York is at $3.8 million after signing Daniel Jones and Dexter Lawrence long term.
There’s also the big question surrounding Saquon Barkley’s future with the team after the deals for Jones and Lawrence. Barkley will play on a $10.1 million franchise tag this season, but GM Joe Schoen has said he wants to try to get a long-term deal done before the season begins.
While the Giants don’t have a definitive No. 1 receiver on their roster, Barkley’s importance to the team could outweigh the thought of adding Hopkins.
The Commanders, who have receivers Terry McLaurin, Jahan Dotson and Curtis Samuel, have only $2.4 million in cap room, but we’ve seen front offices swing contracts into signing bonuses to sign players.
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During the recent podcast, Hopkins, who will soon turn 31, talked about what he’s looking for with his next organization.
“What I want is stable management upstairs. I think that's something that I haven't really had the past couple years of my career coming from Houston to being in Arizona. I've been through three to four GMs in my career,” Hopkins said.
“A QB who loves the game, a QB who brings everybody on board with him, pushes not just himself but people around him. I don't need a great QB – I've done it with subpar QBs – just a QB who loves the game like I do. And a great defense. I think defense wins championships.”
The Eagles' defense got even better via the NFL Draft, and Hurts is arguably among the top five quarterbacks conversation now.
Prescott has been a great regular-season quarterback for Dallas, but there are questions about his ability to win playoff games. He is 2-4 all-time as a starter in the playoffs.
Jones is intriguing after taking a big step in Brian Daboll’s and Mike Kafka’s offense last season, and the Giants clearly believe he’s the franchise guy given his contract extension. He defeated the Minnesota Vikings on the road in his first career playoff game, though the Eagles picked him apart in the next round. Perhaps Hopkins is that go-to receiver needed to pair with new tight end addition Darren Waller in East Rutherford.
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Finally, Sam Howell and the Commanders likely get the lowest odds in the quarterbacks department. Washington has faith in Howell, but he has one start under his belt in the NFL. Hopkins is looking for much more experience.