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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Adam Stites

The case for and against the Jaguars signing WR DeAndre Hopkins

The Arizona Cardinals cut ties with wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins on Friday, making the five-time Pro Bowler a free agent for the first time in his career.

Naturally, the news had NFL fans rubbing their hands together like Birdman at the thought of Hopkins catching touchdowns for their favorite team. That included Jacksonville Jaguars fans, who have every reason to believe they’re rooting for a contender.

Earlier this offseason, Hopkins made it clear that he hopes to join a team built to win with a star quarterback already in place. While Trevor Lawrence wasn’t on Hopkins’ list of the top five quarterbacks he’d like to catch passes from, it’s also not hard to imagine the Jaguars checking a lot of the receiver’s boxes.

So should Jacksonville give it a shot? Here’s a case for and a case against the Jaguars signing Hopkins:

The Jaguars should sign DeAndre Hopkins

Michael Chow/Arizona Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK

It’s really not difficult to make the case for Hopkins.

Should the Jaguars pursue a 30-year-old five-time Pro Bowler with magnets for hands, who has more than 11,000 career receiving yards? Hmm, you tell me.

Jacksonville isn’t hurting at the receiver position after adding Calvin Ridley to a corps that already had Christian Kirk, Zay Jones, and tight end Evan Engram. But does the team have a one-on-one ball-winner like Hopkins? Nope.

In the incredibly stacked AFC, there’s only so much a defense can do to slow the top contenders. Will any of the pass rushers or cornerbacks still on the market really do much to stop Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs?

Perhaps the Jaguars would be better off diving headfirst into the offensive arms race. Rather than slowing the Chiefs, the Jaguars could focus their efforts on outscoring them.

The Jaguars shouldn't sign DeAndre Hopkins

Michael Chow/Arizona Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK

If there’s one aspect of the Jaguars’ roster that doesn’t need work it’s the team’s passing game.

Across the last nine games of the regular season, Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence passed for 252.6 yards per game with 15 touchdowns and two interceptions. And that was before the team added Calvin Ridley to the mix.

While it’s fun to imagine another star talent taking that group to another level, there are only so many mouths to feed and Jacksonville isn’t hurting for options.

For that matter, it’s worth asking how well Hopkins would even fit in Doug Pederson’s offense. The former Texans and Cardinals receiver has made a career out of bullying opposing cornerbacks, out-muscling them and out-jumping them for balls in traffic and tight windows. It’s not that Hopkins can’t get open. It’s just that what makes him special is his physicality.

The Jaguars offense isn’t built around those kinds of plays. It seeks to run receivers into open space and feed whoever finds a hole in the coverage.

Jacksonville doesn’t have a ton of cap space (about $12.2 million right now) and it has to be wise about how it spends money on the finishing touches of the roster. Finding defensive help would do a lot more toward making the Jaguars a complete football team rather than signing an aging receiver with a recent history of injuries.

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