Five-time Pro Bowl wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins agreed to a two-year, $26 million deal with the Tennessee Titans on Sunday. While the Hopkins news doesn't directly affect the NY Jets, it is indirectly the best-case scenario for the team.
Sort of, at least. Let's get one thing straight first: I'm firmly of the belief that the Jets should have made a serious attempt to sign Hopkins.
Releasing Corey Davis and replacing him with Hopkins would have essentially been a cap-neutral move, and there's no denying that a player who was on pace for 1,400 yards last season would be an upgrade over Davis.
Still, for whatever reason, the Jets immediately said no to pursuing Hopkins. It was never going to happen. With that in mind, Hopkins signing with the Titans was the best possible scenario that could have occurred for the Jets.
Why the DeAndre Hopkins signing is good news for the NY Jets
Hopkins garnered interest from a number of AFC contenders in free agency — most notably the Buffalo Bills and New England Patriots. It seemed inevitable that Hopkins would end up in the AFC East in some capacity.
However, the Bills couldn't meet Hopkins' contract demands, and the Titans simply outpaid the Patriots. Hopkins would have given the Bills a legitimate complement to Stefon Diggs, forming one of the league's best wide receiver duos. He would have given New England a true WR1.
Now, instead of being forced to play Hopkins twice a year and compete with him for a division title, the Jets won't play him at all. Not only are the Titans not in the AFC East, but they're not exactly seen as genuine contenders.
Another team that was reportedly very interested in Hopkins was the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs already boast arguably the NFL's best roster. The Jets face Kansas City in the regular season and will likely have to go through them if they're to reach the AFC Championship Game or Super Bowl.
Hopkins joining the Titans keeps him out of the AFC East and away from some of the Jets' most feared competitors in their conference.
If the Jets weren't going to sign Hopkins, this was the next-best outcome for the organization.