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DeAndre Hopkins: It Wasn't What The Patriots Offered, It Was How They Were Serving It

Patriots fans had their hopes and dreams crushed when it was announced DeAndre Hopkins was to sign with the Titans.

Then the questions came - "Why not with the Patriots?"

They have a need at the position. They have the cap space. They have a young developing quarterback that's never had a true #1 Wide Receiver to work with.

So why couldn't the Patriots reel-in one of the best WR's to ever play the game when he was released from the Cardinals in June and free to sign anywhere?

Well, it seems as though it wasn't the money that the Patriots offered to Hopkins that drove him to Tennessee, it was how Hopkins was to collect said money.

It is being reported that Hopkins signed a two-year contract worth $26-million in base salary and a maximum of $32 million if he reaches certain incentives.

So we'll call it $13-million per year in base salary with $3-million in incentives each season.

According to Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer, the Patriots offered Hopkins a contract similar to what the Chiefs had offered him earlier this spring.

It was structured in a way that Hopkins would have to earn more of the money through incentives and carry a much smaller base salary.

Reportedly the offer was structured in the neighborhood of a $4-million base salary and $10-million worth of incentives each season. That's a chance at $14-million per year for two years, and that would equal $28-million for two seasons if he were to reach all of the incentives bonuses.

Now that is still short of the potential $32-million over two years that the Titans offered, but it certainly seems close enough that the two sides could have worked something out to get the WR to play in Foxboro.

A lot also depends on how the incentives were structured. Were the trigger-points for the incentives from the Titans easier to reach?

Did Hopkins want the security of the higher base salary and didn't feel he could reach the incentive triggers with a young QB in New England.

We may never know, but we do know that the Patriots had a big fish right to the side of the boat but they let it get away.

The coaching staff may feel like they have enough at the WR position to make the offense work under new offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien, but if the team struggles to move the ball and put-up points we can be sure this missed opportunity will be talked about much more than it is now.

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