The NY Jets have been one of the teams most heavily connected to rumors surrounding free-agent wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins in recent days, but Jets head coach Robert Saleh did his best to put those rumors to bed on Wednesday.
When speaking with the media prior to Wednesday's practice, Saleh essentially told reporters that the Jets had no plans to pursue Hopkins in free agency.
Saleh was asked about the prospect of signing Hopkins, and he replied, "Nah, we love our current group." That's a very different response than the one the Jets offered during their pursuit of Odell Beckham Jr. earlier in the offseason.
The Jets may not have loved their group enough to pass on Beckham, but they apparently love it enough to not explore signing Hopkins. That's certainly an odd choice on the team's part.
The NY Jets will not be pursuing DeAndre Hopkins in free agency
Hopkins was released by the Arizona Cardinals last week after the team failed to find a trade partner for the five-time Pro Bowler. Teams like the Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs were interested, but Hopkins' contract proved to be a deterring factor.
Now a free agent, Hopkins will have his choice of a number of very appealing destinations. The Jets could have been one of those, especially if they were willing to pay the very reasonable price Hopkins is expected to command.
However, the Jets don't seem to be interested. It's likely not because the team is happy with their current group. After all, the Jets were heavily in pursuit of Beckham less than two months ago. The reason is likely a Hopkins-exclusive one.
Perhaps the Jets don't view Hopkins as a good fit in their offensive scheme. Perhaps they don't see him as a cultural fit for the organization. Whatever the case, it seems pretty apparent that the Jets have no plans to sign the three-time All-Pro wide receiver.
Hopkins hasn't played a full season since 2020, as injuries and a suspension have cost him time, but he was on pace for 120 catches and nearly 1,300 yards last season. When on the field, he's still one of the best wide receivers in football.
Despite this, and despite the fact that the Jets can very easily afford him from a financial standpoint, the Jets do not plan to make a run at signing Hopkins.
Instead, it's likely that they will see him sign with a direct competitor, such as the Buffalo Bills, Kansas City Chiefs, or even New England Patriots. Here's to hoping the Jets' hesitancy doesn't come back to bite them.