I guess we gotta do the obligatory “should the Eagles sign DeAndre Hopkins?” post.

The Cardinals released the five-time Pro Bowl receiver last week, who noted recently that Jalen Hurts is one of the NFL quarterbacks he’d enjoy playing with:

The Eagles do have some cap space, about $13 million according to Over the Cap. And if you look at the Birds’ offense, the only spots that are any kind of concern are right guard, where Cam Jurgens is expected to start, and WR3, where Quez Watkins underwhelmed in 2022.

Make no mistake, that is what Hopkins would be in Philly. He would be WR3, because under no circumstances do you diminish A.J. Brown or Devonta Smith’s role. Same with Dallas Goedert, and when you look at how Jalen Hurts distributed the ball last season, there were about 50 available targets for the WR3:

  • A.J. Brown: 145 targets
  • DeVonta Smith: 136 targets
  • Dallas Goedert: 69 targets
  • Quez Watkins: 51 targets
  • Kenneth Gainwell: 29 targets
  • Miles Sanders: 26 targets
  • Zach Pascal: 19 targets
  • Jack Stoll: 14 targets
  • Grant Calcaterra: 9 targets
  • Boston Scott: 6 targets
  • Noah Togiai: 1 target

I don’t know if Hopkins is coming here, or anywhere, for 51 targets. He only played nine games last season and was still targeted 96 times, so that’s 10.6 per game. The lowest per-game total he’s ever logged was 6.4 in 2021, when he only played 10 games and was crowded out by Christian Kirk, A.J. Green, Rondale Moore, and Zach Ertz.

When you go through past Eagles seasons, 50-60 is the sweet spot for WR3 targets. That’s Quez Watkins, Jalen Reagor, etc. The way they distribute the ball typically filters through WR1, WR2, TE1, the stable of running backs + Jalen Hurts ball carrying and option plays, then you get into Watkins and Zach Pascal territory from there. Over the course of 17 games in 2022, Watkins saw three targets per game and Pascal just 1.1. I can’t imagine Hopkins would be thrilled with 3 targets per game.

The main argument you can present to him is that he’d be playing for a winner in Philadelphia. If the guy is willing to take less money and be less of the focus, he can obviously take this offense to the next level. Certainly going all-out on the offensive side is a strategy worth considering, though you do have to think about diminishing returns. If the Eagles’ O is already elite, then adding Hopkins makes you what? Uber-elite? Extra-elite? You have to ask yourself if the improvement is significant or marginal while noting that the Birds’ offense is already tier 1.

DeAndre Hopkins would be fantastic here, but it’s hard to see him playing a lesser role. The guy is still only 30 years old and a WR2 on most teams, at worst. The Birds have a great thing going with A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith and have some affordable WR3 options in house already. Feels like you can get more for your money at another spot.