Jets don’t appear interested in signing free agent DeAndre Hopkins: ‘We love our current group’

Tribune Content Agency

NEW YORK — After their pursuit of Odell Beckham Jr. earlier this, there was thought that the Jets would be interested in free-agent receiver DeAndre Hopkins.

However, if coach Robert Saleh’s comments on Wednesday are any indication, it doesn’t appear Gang Green is interested in the 30-year-old receiver.

“We love our current group,” Saleh said. “I know it was some stuff with Odell, but we love our group.”

Last week, the Cardinals released Hopkins after three seasons with the team. Now the veteran is free to sign with any team.

Several teams will likely consider signing Hopkins, but according to Sports Illustrated, only the Bills and Chiefs engaged in “substantive talks” with the Cardinals. Teams were hesitant to trade for Hopkins, but he was interested in restructuring his contract — which had a cap hit of $30.75 million.

The Jets were front runners to sign Beckham at the start of free agency. However, Beckham signed a one-year, $15 million guaranteed contract with the Ravens, reportedly lower than the Jets offered him.

Despite not signing Beckham, the Jets receiver corps has improved this offseason. The team signed Allen Lazard to a four-year, $44 million deal. They also signed Mecole Hardman Jr. and Randall Cobb to go alongside Garrett Wilson, who won the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year last year after recording 83 receptions for 1,103 yards and four touchdowns.

The Jets hope that with additions to the receiving corps and trading for Aaron Rodgers, their offense will improve from 25th in yards and points scored a season ago.

Hopkins was once considered arguably the best receiver in the NFL when he played for the Texans. During his first seven years in the league, all with the Texans, Hopkins averaged 90.3 receptions, 1,229 yards and 7.7 touchdowns a season.

But after Houston traded Hopkins to Arizona in 2020, his stats have diminished. After recording a 115-catch, 1,407 yards, six touchdown season in 2020, Hopkins had a combined 106 receptions for 1,289 yards and 11 touchdowns the last two seasons as he battled injuries and was suspended for six games after violating the NFL’s Performance Enhancing Drug (PED) Policy.