On Sunday, the Titans made a splash, signing one of the league's best receivers, DeAndre Hopkins, to a 2 year, $26m deal.
In recent days, the deal seemed more and more likely with the betting odds that Hopkins would sign with Tennessee jumping from +400 to an incredible -300.
Hopkins, 31, is a 5-time Pro Bowler, 5-time All-Pro, and has eclipsed 1,100 yards six times. Throughout his 9 year career, he has an incredible 77.9 yards per game average and has scored 71 touchdowns.
After being drafted out of Clemson in 2013, Hopkins spent the first 7 years of his career in Houston before being traded to the Cardinals in 2020.
Hopkins is 6'1 but plays like he is the biggest player on the field. He excels in contested catches and comes down with the ball in the most unlikely circumstances.
Hopkins has some of the most reliable hands in the league and provides a great, safe target for Quarterbacks. While he is best beyond the sticks, he also has an underrated ability to gain yards after the catch in shorter yardage situations.
Heading into free agency, Hopkins had a few keys in mind when considering his new team: a championship-caliber defense, a QB who loves the game, and a stable front office.
The Titans check those boxes. The defense is great and getting even better in defending the pass, there is no doubt about Ryan Tannehill's commitment, and Ran Carthon is going nowhere anytime soon.
From the Titans perspective, this is a vital signing. Before signing Hopkins, Mike Vrabel had more career receiving touchdowns than any player on the team. Yes, Mike Vrabel, the coach and former middle linebacker.
Now, they have one of the greatest players of the decade to take the position group to the next level.
On top of these positives, the deal was completed at a reasonable price.
Hopkin's base salary of $13m/year makes him just the 22nd highest paid WR in the league. In Arizona, he was making a staggering 27m/year, the third highest total among receivers.
While the Titans should have paid A.J. Brown last year, he is making double what Hopkins is which is hard to justify.
For someone who has made 5 pro bowls and surpassed over 1,500 yards twice (tied for 3rd most all time), the price comes as a surprise. Even if he were to reach the $15 million that his deal could be worth with incentives, he'd still only be the 18th highest paid receiver in the league.
The Titans offensive weapons took an incredible leap with this signing. Treylon Burks, who was poised for a lot of volume in his sophomore year, will now no longer face top corners and will be more effective now that he isn't the sole down field target.
Hopkins' time with the Texans overlapped with Mike Vrabel's as well as with new Offensive Coordinator's, Tim Kelly. He had some of the best year's of his career with Kelly as OC which was almost certainly a factor in Hopkin's decision to sign with the Titans.
If Kelly can utilize Hopkins, Burks, Derrick Henry, and Chig Okonkwo effectively, like Todd Downing could not, the Titans will have a lot of success in 2023.