There’s only one way DeAndre Hopkins is getting traded to Patriots |

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The Patriots trading for DeAndre Hopkins felt like a distant, far away dream, and it feels even more distant considering the Patriots’ recently reported stringent terms.

DeAndre Hopkins remains one of the New England Patriots’ most rumored wide receiver targets as the Pats have shimmied around the notion of a trade all offseason. But it takes two to tango, and unfortunately for fans who want to see Hopkins in the nautical blue next season, the Patriots have set a brutal ultimatum for the Arizona Cardinals regarding a potential trade.

Hopkins’ asking price was fairly reasonable to start with — the Cards were only asking for a second-rounder and something else of value, whether it be a conditional pick or a player.

The biggest obstacle to moving Hopkins is nonetheless his contract, and the Pats have flat-out said they will only absorb D-Hop’s salary if they don’t have to give up any draft compensation.

So basically, it’s a free trade, and Arizona gets nothing in return.

Patriots name their strict condition for a potential DeAndre Hopkins trade

As much as the Cardinals would love to dump Hopkins, this trade probably isn’t happening. The more likely outcome is that Arizona releases the star receiver, at which point Hopkins would have the leverage in where he wants to end up.

If he had to pick between, say, the Cardinals and the Chiefs or the Bills, Hopkins most likely isn’t picking Mac Jones over Patrick Mahomes or Josh Allen. Entering the twilight years of his career, he’ll want to legitimately compete for a Super Bowl and has the power to negotiate the terms of his contract with his new team.

Until he’s released, however, another team could be willing to pay Arizona the low price of a second-rounder and poach Hopkins this offseason.

The Dallas Cowboys used to be in the running, but they seem satisfied with Brandin Cooks. The Baltimore Ravens are one team to keep an eye on given their ragged wideout corps, and maybe getting Hopkins could convince Lamar Jackson to stay after all.

Don’t take your eyes off Arizona — the Hopkins saga isn’t quite over yet.

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