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Titans QB thinks 3-time All-Pro DeAndre Hopkins would be good fit

AP Pro Football Writer

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee quarterback Ryan Tannehill met DeAndre Hopkins for the first time during the three-time All-Pro’s free agent visit with the Titans.

The quarterback who turns 35 in July and is going into the final season of his contract spent some time with Hopkins and his girlfriend in what Tannehill called a nice meeting.

“I think he’d be a good fit here,” Tannehill said Wednesday. “But we’ll see what happens.”

Hopkins made Tennessee the first stop on his free agent tour, coming into Nashville on Sunday and meeting with Titans players and coaches Monday. The five-time Pro Bowl receiver, who turned 31 earlier this month, is a free agent for the first time and is headed to New England next.

The Titans held their final on-field practice of the offseason Wednesday with veterans such as Derrick Henry and two-time All-Pro Kevin Byard among those not at the final voluntary practice.

Tennessee is only keeping rookies around for the next two weeks. Hopkins can take his time as the NFL switches to vacation mode before training camps open in late July. The Titans report July 25.

“I don’t think there’s anything that’s going to happen here today, I would imagine,” Titans coach Mike Vrabel said. “But there’s follow-up every time we come and have conversations, and we’ll see where it goes.”

Treylon Burks, currently the Titans’ top receiver, also skipped Wednesday’s session. That left a reminder of how young the Tennessee receiving group is with the current group combining for six touchdown catches last season. Vrabel, who played linebacker in his 14-year NFL career, had 12 in his career.

Arizona released Hopkins on May 26 in a salary cap move after failing to find a trading partner.

The Cardinals cut Hopkins three seasons after acquiring him in a blockbuster trade in 2020 with Houston and had signed him to a $54.5 million contract extension through 2024. Hopkins would have counted close to $31 million against the cap this season for Arizona, which took a dead cap hit of $22.6 million.

Hopkins ranks 36th in NFL history with 11,298 yards receiving over 145 games.

Titans receivers coach Rob Moore, who played receiver himself for 10 NFL seasons, said a key for any free agent is understanding Tennessee’s culture first. He declined to speculate on what Hopkins could bring to the Titans, who ranked 30th in passing yards in averaging 171.4 yards per game.

“But we all know what a great player he’s been over his career, and I think what he’s done kind of speaks for himself,” Moore said.

NOTES: CB Kristian Fulton took part in some of Wednesday’s session for the first time. The cornerback going into his fourth season said he wasn’t hurt and will be ready for training camp. … Rookie QB Will Levis, the 33rd pick overall, is the Titans’ lone unsigned draft pick. He was intercepted three times in a team drill late with a couple off batted balls.


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