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Source: Free agent DeAndre Hopkins longshot to sign with Bills

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He is for now, I think he'll chase the money, but these reporters are hilarious, he's only a longshot now because he hasn't signed with the Bills yet, they were expecting it right away. This is his first time being able to test the market, he's going to take his time and likely go where the money is, my guess is Chicago, but hey if he wants to win I wouldn't view the Bills a longshot 

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DeAndre Hopkins probably isn’t joining the Buffalo Bills.

Three executives from around the NFL, some with direct knowledge of what the free-agent receiver wants in his next contract, inform The Athletic the Bills simply don’t have enough salary-cap room to accommodate Hopkins’ terms.

The league executives were granted anonymity so they could speak freely about Hopkins’ situation.

One of those sources called Buffalo “a long shot” to land Hopkins. The Arizona Cardinals released him last week, snuffing a contract with a base salary of $19.45 million this season. Two of the executives said Hopkins wants a deal similar to what the Baltimore Ravens gave Odell Beckham Jr., who signed a one-year deal worth $15 million guaranteed with another $3 million in incentives.

The Bills have been interested in Hopkins and closely monitoring his status the past six weeks. Hopkins recently hired agent Kelton Crenshaw, but before that was representing himself — with the help of uncertified agent Saint Omni — in trade talks the Cardinals permitted Hopkins to explore. The Athletic has confirmed Bills general manager Brandon Beane spoke with Hopkins directly. Crenshaw did not respond to an interview request.

Hopkins publicly has expressed a strong desire to play with Bills quarterback Josh Allen, but one of the league executives, who has communicated with Hopkins’ camp, said his preferred passer won’t supersede his preferred payout.

Buffalo currently has under $2 million in cap space after signing all of its draft picks and signing veteran tackle Brandon Shell on Thursday.

Hopkins has built a career that approaches Hall of Fame consideration. He’s a three-time All-Pro who ranks 28th all-time in receptions, 36th in yards and 46th in touchdowns. His peers have voted him inside the top 20 on the annual “NFL Top 100” list five times, twice putting him eighth overall.

The Bills might not need Hopkins, though, especially if Gabriel Davis bounces back after a disappointing season as their No. 2 receiver and helps Stefon Diggs handle the haul.

Buffalo has signed veteran free-agent receivers Deonte Harty and Trent Sherfield and used its first-round draft choice on tight end Dalton Kincaid to pair with Dawson Knox. Running backs James Cook and Nyheim Hines also will factor into offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey’s aerial plans.

Diggs last year caught 108 passes for 1,429 yards and 11 touchdowns — numbers Hopkins hasn’t posted since 2020, and however much either alpha wants to win, he’ll also want the ball. Diggs exhibited frustration late last season when Dorsey and Allen didn’t target him as much as he wanted.

All three NFL executives told The Athletic they would be cautious about taking on a big personality about to turn 31. Two organizations have unloaded the superstar talent already. Three years ago, the Houston Texans traded him and a fourth-round draft choice to the Cardinals for running back David Johnson plus second- and fourth-round draft choices.

The executives acknowledged Hopkins loves game day, but expressed concern over his practice habits. He was suspended six games last year for violating the policy on performance enhancing substances (another misstep would sideline Hopkins a full year) and missed two more games with a sore knee.

“There he goes. One of God's own prototypes.

A high-powered mutant of some kind, never even considered for mass production.

Too weird to live, and too rare to die.”

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