NFL Rumors: Kansas City Chiefs, Buffalo Bills Both Chasing Star Wide Receiver

The AFC arms race continues. According to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler, the Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs are the likeliest teams to pursue recently released Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins.

SI's Albert Breer also reported earlier in the week that the Bills and Chiefs were the only teams to have substantive trade talks with the Cardinals regarding Hopkins prior to his release. Breer attests that both teams found Hopkins' contract the primary stumbling block.

Hopkins' new status as an unrestricted free agent will likely reopen discussions with both the Bills and Chiefs, but working out a deal may not be simple. If demand for Hopkins' services is high, or he values himself as a truly elite talent, the Bills and Chiefs will have a hard time crafting a contract that suits them. 

Odell Beckham Jr. signed a one-year, $15 million deal with the Baltimore Ravens earlier this offseason; Hopkins would likely balk at anything less. Per, the Bills rank 30th in the league in cap space with a little under $1.5 million, and the Chiefs rank 31st with about $650K.

Set to turn 31 years old before the beginning of the season, Hopkins may not be quite at the peak of his powers, but he remains valuable when available: he averaged 67.8 receiving yards per game and 8.1 yards per target over 19 appearances from 2021 to 2022. Hopkins could help a Chiefs team suddenly short on veteran wide receivers; Juju Smith-Schuster and Mecole Hardman both left in free agency. Meanwhile, the Bills appear at odds with their leading wide receiver Stefon Diggs.

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