FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The Patriots wrapped up their Friday OTA session and now it's full steam ahead to the start of minicamp on Monday. While this is an important period on New England's offseason calendar anyway, the week became even more important following the report from the NFL Media earlier this morning that wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins will be making a free-agent visit with the team at some point next week as well.
Naturally, that fact hovered over the OTA practice and some of the players, who were made available to the media afterward, were, of course, asked about the possibility of adding Hopkins into the mix. Most notably, wideout Kendrick Bourne gave his stamp of approval if Hopkins were to come aboard.
"Yeah, I'm a fan of D-Hop," said Bourne. "It would be cool. I don't know the gist of what's going on, but he is a great player. ... Anything that would help us win, I'm with"
New England would be a fascinating landing spot for Hopkins on multiple fronts. At the top of that list is the mere need for an All-Pro caliber weapon inside the Patriots offense, especially as they are set to face several high-flying offenses this coming season. Slotting Hopkins in as the clear WR1 would suddenly make the wide receiver room a deep unit that already consists of JuJu Smith-Schuster, Bourne, DeVante Parker, and second-year wideout Tyquan Thornton.
He also has a working knowledge of the Patriots offense thanks to his history will Bill O'Brien, who was his head coach with the Texans during the most productive years of his career. In the six seasons O'Brien and Hopkins shared in Houston, the receiver averaged roughly 96 catches, 1,300 yards receiving, and eight touchdowns.
Despite being 32-year-old by the start of next season, Hopkins has continued to produce at a high level. totaling 717 yards receiving on 64 catches in nine games played in 2022.
Bill Belichick has also been an admirer of Hopkins. Leading into New England's matchup against Hopkins' Cardinals last season, the head coach said that "he's every bit as good as anybody I've ever coached against."
So, the Patriots do have a need for some top-tier talent at the pass-catching position and Hopkins has now put New England on his radar, setting the stage for a fascinating few days in Foxborough next week.