Chiefs’ early lead for DeAndre Hopkins is about to evaporate

The Kansas City Chiefs had a leg-up on the race to acquire DeAndre Hopkins, but that all changes now.

Much like with Odell Beckham Jr., the Kansas City Chiefs found themselves in the mix in regards to DeAndre Hopkins’s availability when it looked as though the Arizona Cardinals would trade him earlier this offseason.

Adding Hopkins would have added plenty of excitement for the Chiefs who, coming off a second Super Bowl title in the last few years and with the league’s best quarterback in Patrick Mahomes, would be viewed as nearly unstoppable offensively with the addition of a Pro Bowl-caliber receiver.

According to Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer, the Chiefs were one of just two teams that had substantive discussions with the Cardinals around Hopkins. The other was the Bills, who seem to be in lock-step with the Chiefs in the arms race of the 2020s, though Buffalo has yet to secure an AFC title, something the Chiefs have done three times over.

And while that gave the Chiefs a leg up at one point, they now find themselves on the outs of the race for Hopkins.

DeAndre Hopkins contract still prohibitive to teams like Chiefs, Bills

The Chiefs and Bills both backed out of the discussions with the Cardinals because of DeAndre Hopkins’s contract. Since a trade would involve sending out assets as well as taking on the contract of Hopkins, it was viewed as too high a cost.

Unfortunately, the contract is still going to be prohibitive for both.

Hopkins has since been released, making him a free agent. He can sign anywhere he wants for virtually as little or as much as he likes, subject to the boundaries of the collective bargaining agreement.

But Hopkins isn’t going to take a competitive discount, he still evidently wants a lot of money. Mike Florio reported that Hopkins still wants a, “substantial” contract.

The Chiefs, as it stands now, have less than a million in cap space. The Bills have $1.47 million. Neither of those figures puts them in the wheelhouse of what Hopkins wants.

This means that any leg-up the Chiefs and Bills had from getting in on the race early has withered away. Now, any team can get in on the action.

It also is completely up to Hopkins. He has wishes, including a competent front office, a quality quarterback, and a good defense. If he can find those three things with a team that has the money he wants, Kansas City and Buffalo will both be out.

Lucky for KC, Mahomes has not necessarily needed stars around him to make magic happen.

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