Earlier this month, Tennessee Titans made a summer splash by signing wide receiver and five-time Pro wideout DeAndre Hopkins to a two-year deal worth a whooping sum of $32 million. Hopkins, since then, has presumably become the Titans' No. 1 wide receiver while the team gets a much-needed boost on the outside.
Signing the contract and making it official, Hopkins said, "I feel real good. I'm Blessed and Grateful to be here. Thank you, Tennessee and Nashville. Let's get to work,".
Hopkins summed 64 receptions for 717 yards last season and three touchdowns for the Arizona Cardinals. He was also suspended for the first six games of the 2022 season for violating the NFL's performance-enhancing drug policy, and he furthermore missed the last two games due to a knee injury. The year before that, Hopkins missed eight combined games, both regular season and postseason, due to a hamstring injury.
Earlier in May, 31-year-old Hopkins was released by the Cardinals after they couldn't work out a trade for the veteran receiver, and the $54 million remaining on his previous contract and Hopkins still wants to prove otherwise that he's still an elite wideout while sending a warning the NFL world not to sleep on the 2023 Titans.
He said, "I've always felt like I had something to prove, and that's how I play my game. The decision to come to Nashville made a lot of people angry. But I still kind of felt at home being here from the get-go. "I wanted to be in a place where I knew people had my best interests, not just on the field but also off the field as well."
Hopkins also expressed why the Titans were an ideal landing spot for him. He told the Titans team, "I am very much happy about making the move to Nashville."
"This was a team that as soon as the offseason hit, I also knew I was possibly going to be traded, and this is a team that has been on my list of places that I wanted to play because of the history I have with Mike Vrabel and the history Tim Kelly and I have."
Kelly was an offensive assistant for the Texans from 2014 to 2021. He served as the team's offensive coordinator in 2019. Hopkins logged 1,100-plus receiving yards in five of his seven seasons with Houston while also logging 10-plus receiving touchdowns in three of those seven years.
Meanwhile, Vrabel has been a defensive assistant before being called Tennessee's head coach in 2018. He was a linebackers coach and later became defensive coordinator for the Houston Texans from 2014 to 2017. Hopkins spent the first seven seasons of his NFL career (2013-2019) with the Texans and then competed against Vrabel and the Titans in the AFC South from 2018-2019.
"I had a lot of interaction with him," Hopkins said,
"He's one of those guys you could talk to, not just about football, but personal stuff outside the field, Vrabel was good to me. It wasn't just a football relationship with him, it was a personal relationship. Guys could relate to him."
Despite Tennessee not being a top team for most people, Hopkins believes that the team deserves more recognition. He thinks he's not the only one who feels this way, but the entire team as well.