DeAndre Hopkins visited the New England Patriots last week and left without a deal. Given where we're at in the offseason, it shouldn't be surprising Hopkins doesn't yet have a contract -- just three weeks after he was released by the Arizona Cardinals.
Any team can sign Hopkins over the next several weeks, but one of his biggest recruiters to New England may have provided an indication of where his next destination will be. Patriots Pro Bowl edge rusher Matt Judon sent out a cryptic tweet this weekend that may have something to do with Hopkins and New England.
GM of the year?— Matthew Judon (@man_dammn) June 17, 2023
Judon tweeted this out days after Hopkins visited the Patriots. He also just happened to pose a photo with the star wideout during his visit. Judon has made pitches to players in the past, notably Bobby Wagner, Odell Beckham Jr., and Chandler Jones.
Of course, Judon also smiled when asked about Hopkins this week and said he doesn't run his Twitter.
"DeAndre Hopkins is a free agent. If I know him as a friend or as a confidant it doesn't matter," Judon said earlier this week. "He's a great player. He did amazing things and wherever he lands, he lands. If it's here, it's here. Then we can talk about him."
Judon added fuel to the fire earlier this week when a Twitter user pledged to donate $500 to a charity of Hopkins' choosing if he signed with the Patriots. The Patriots pass rusher added even more incentive.
Even if Judon's tweet is about the Patriots signing Hopkins, there's one thing to keep in mind: Hopkins doesn't have to sign with any team for the next several weeks, as all 32 franchises are on their "summer break" before training camp. Signing with a franchise at this point makes little sense, with players (and coaches) spending the next several weeks outside the facilities before training camps begin in late July.
Hopkins has an opportunity to create a market for himself in the weeks leading up to camp, when he could also get the Patriots and Tennessee Titans to up their potential offers as a result. That's the business of the NFL, and a way for Hopkins (or any player who's a free agent) to make extra money.
While Hopkins may end up with the Patriots, it won't hurt him to see if any other team reaches out to him in the coming weeks. Of course, if anyone knows what Hopkins is going to do, it's Judon.