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NASHVILLE - Fans of the Tennessee Titans are ecstatic that their favorite team is about to sign three-time Pro Bowl receiver DeAndre Hopkins. Most couldn't care less why he chose their team over the New England Patriots.    

However, for those who are curious, Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer tells us what was the deciding factor in his choice.

"Easy Money," according to Breer. 

"For the 31-year-old, five-time All-Pro, getting $12 million in base pay and upside to $15 million in the week leading up to the opening of camp is, unequivocally, a win—at a point when a team’s cap and cash budgets are mostly spent. And, sure, if Hopkins plays like he has at many points of his career, paying him less than what a lot of good No. 2 receivers make will be a bargain."

Per the report, Hopkins's relationship with the Titans coaching staff (Mike Vrabel and Tim Kelly) was the other top factor. 

"(And while we’re here, Hopkins’s relationships in Tennessee certainly didn’t hurt—he was with both head coach Mike Vrabel and offensive coordinator Tim Kelly in Houston, and has a good enough rapport with Vrabel to have texted with him while he was on his visit with the Patriots)."

Breer also detailed what finishing as the runner-up in the Hopkins sweepstakes means for the Patriots.

"The first is the Patriots, the presumed runner-up. New England was willing to match the max total ($15 million) for 2023, only with a far higher percentage of that total tied to incentives as part of an offer that, structurally at least, looked a little like Kansas City’s offer before the draft. Which leaves Bill Belichick and Bill O’Brien with JuJu Smith-Schuster, DeVante Parker, Kendrick Bourne and second-year man Tyquan Thornton at the position."

Of course, one potential factor Breer did not mention was the starting quarterbacks. 

Ryan Tannehill and Mac Jones would have been the guys throwing him the football, and while both are former first-round draft picks, Tannehill is the veteran and has had a somewhat more successful career, though Jones is much younger and still developing.  

It's unlikely that Hopkins would ever honestly share if this was part of his decision process, but I'm guessing someone will ask him next week when he takes the field for the first time as a Titan, as the team will open their training camp on July 25. 


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