For months, and possibly years, Baltimore Ravens fans have desired a big-bodied star wide receiver. Many wanted wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, who was wildly traded from the Houston Texans to the Arizona Cardinals for pennies on the dollar by former Head Coach and General Manager Bill O’Brien. Reports this offseason swirled about Hopkins being linked to the Ravens, as former NFL cornerback Adam ‘Pacman’ Jones reported on numerous occasions that the Ravens were involved in trade talks with Cardinals. Now, to acquire Hopkins, a trade won’t be necessary, as the Cardinals have announced they’ve released Hopkins.
Cardinals released DeAndre Hopkins. pic.twitter.com/c0f9UaabYA— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) May 26, 2023
For the Ravens, now it’s a priority as to whether they’re interested in adding a fourth new wide receiver to the offense. After all, they added wide receivers Nelson Agholor, Odell Beckham Jr. and rookie Zay Flowers over the past two months. With Rashod Bateman and tight end Mark Andrews on the team and only one ball to go around, an abundance of receiving talent riches begs the question if it’s necessary to add Hopkins?
Regardless, most of the time this comes down to money and it just so happens the long-term deal the Ravens signed with quarterback Lamar Jackson freed up enough space to possibly afford Hopkins if they so choose.
According to overthecap.com, the Ravens have $11.757 million in cap space, with $9.396 in effective cap space.
As for interest, Hopkins said recently on the I Am Athlete podcast that he would be interested in playing with Jackson.
“I love Lamar Jackson,” Hopkins said. “Lamar Jackson is one of my favorite athletes since I’ve been watching sports. Obviously, he’s one of the greats, and I would be lying to sit here and say it wouldn’t be an honor one day, if my career allows me to play that long, to play with a great guy and a great quarterback like Lamar.”
No longer though is wide receiver their greatest priority. Instead, there is a need at cornerback, where depth and a bona fide CB2 is more necessary. The team did sign Rock Ya-Sin this offseason, but there’s a lot of young, unproven depth behind Ya-Sin with sophomore cornerbacks Damarion ‘Pepe’ Williams and Jalyn Armour-Davis, along with rookie cornerback Kyu Blu Kelly. Edge rusher is another need for the team as they currently field Tyus Bowser, Odafe Oweh and a healthy David Ojabo. There’s reported interest in the team considering bringing back veteran Justin Houston, too.
Adding Hopkins simply keeps him away from other teams, like the reportedly interested Kansas City Chiefs and Buffalo Bills. Though it’s silly to sign a player solely to keep him from other teams, any chance to keep a star from being added to the already volatile AFC makes enough sense in this circumstance.