Home NFL Ugly DeAndre Hopkins Report May Cause Belichick & Patriots To Pass

Ugly DeAndre Hopkins Report May Cause Belichick & Patriots To Pass

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Ugly DeAndre Hopkins Report May Cause Belichick & Patriots To Pass

The New England Patriots are considering the possibility of signing free agent wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, who recently became available after being released by the Arizona Cardinals.

While Hopkins’ talent on the field is undeniable, his compatibility with the team’s culture, particularly concerning his approach to practice, has become a focal point for the Patriots decision-making process.

Hopkins, who had one year remaining on his contract with the Cardinals, had been the subject of trade rumors for several months. However, Arizona General Manager Monti Ossenfort opted to release him when suitable trade offers failed to materialize.

Notably, New England head coach Bill Belichick has expressed his admiration for Hopkins in the past. Nevertheless, ESPN’s Mike Reiss reported that a potential issue involving Hopkins’ attitude towards practice might hinder the Patriots interest in signing the five-time Pro Bowler.

“As for Hopkins, who would make any team better on the field, how he would fit into the team culture will be one of Belichick’s most important calculations,” Reiss reported.

“When the Patriots make a significant investment in a player, they are essentially telling everyone in the locker room what they value most. Belichick believes heavily in practice. He annually says that the best way for players to improve is practice.”

“But word out of Arizona is that the 31-year-old Hopkins, who was due to make $19 million in 2023 before his release, did not like to practice. And it’s perhaps telling that as the Cardinals are attempting to establish a new culture under first-year coach Jonathan Gannon and general manager Monti Ossenfort, they voluntarily subtracted Hopkins from the mix.”

Belichick holds practice in high regard, consistently emphasizing its role in player development and team success. As the Patriots typically make substantial investments in players, their choices inherently communicate the values they prioritize to everyone in the locker room.

Therefore, Belichick places great importance on players who embrace the practice philosophy.

Belichick’s emphasis on practice is well-documented, exemplified by previous incidents. In 2014, running back Jonas Gray rushed for an astounding 201 yards in a regular-season game against the Indianapolis Colts, only to lose the starting job after oversleeping and missing a team practice shortly thereafter.

While it is reasonable to assume that a respected and accomplished head coach like Belichick shouldn’t have to stress the significance of practice to players, the Patriots value individuals who comprehend this principle without explicit reminders. This adherence to the “Patriot Way” has been an integral part of the team’s success over the years.

Despite the concerns surrounding Hopkins’ practice habits, the Patriots are still weighing the potential benefits of signing him. As negotiations continue, both sides will likely engage in thorough discussions to assess whether the wide receiver’s exceptional on-field skills outweigh any potential cultural misalignment.

However, when previously asked about his interest in joining the Patriots, Hopkins’ excitement level wasn’t exactly off the charts…

 

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