DeAndre Hopkins is heading to Nashville.
The former All-Pro receiver has found a new home with the Tennessee Titans, signing a two-year deal worth $26 million.
The deal took many (including this writer) by surprise, because the Titans seem closer to rebuilding than competing. So, will DHop help the Titans make the playoffs or was the signing the confusing flop it seems to be?
What Will Hopkins Bring To Titans?
Sure, the Titans probably needed another receiver. They didn't have a single WR catch for more than 530 yards last year and their leading catcher (Robert Woods) bailed to a divisional rival in free agency.
Bringing in Hopkins to pair with young receiver Treylon Burks seems like a solid move on paper. But, Tennessee's receiving woes last year were more about the guys throwing the ball than the ones trying to catch 'em.
The Titans had three different QBs start games last year (Ryan Tannehill, Josh Dobbs, and Malik Willis). Only Tannehill posted a completion percentage above 60%, none threw for more than 215 yards per game, and their combined QB Rating was eight points below league average. Not even a future Hall of Famer like Hopkins can change that.
Are The Titans Now Contenders?
The Titans have a good running back, now one good receiver, and suspect quarterback play. Is that a receipt to compete? The odds aren't convinced:
|Odds||Before Hopkins Signing||After Hopkins Signing|
|To Win AFC South||+350||+330|
|To Make Playoffs||+235||+235|
|To Win Super Bowl||+12500||+9000|
Tennessee's playoff and Super Bowl odds hardly moved after signing Hopkins. The Titans' current odds to make the playoffs (+235) imply a 29.85% chance, while the title odds (+9000) imply a 1.10% chance.
Even after adding Hopkins, the Titans still have the third-worst Super Bowl odds in the entire NFL. Safe to say oddsmakers aren't afraid of a deep Tennessee playoff run.
Where Do Titans Go From Here?
In a vacuum, the Hopkins signing wasn't bad, because the Titans didn't give up anything for him. They're not going to compete this year, but maybe they can flip the receiver for a draft pick if he bounces back in Tennessee, right? Worst case scenario, they release him.
But, the bigger issue is the organization's lack of direction. They're without a quarterback (unless you're a Will Levis believer), the core is aging out of a competitive window, and the Jaguars have passed them in the AFC South power structure.
The Titans had a chance to commit to the rebuild this year, and they've clearly missed it. Maybe another losing season or two will force their hand.