The Green Bay Packers have next to zero chance of signing All-Pro wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, who is now a free agent, but his departure from the Arizona Cardinals could be bad news.
According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, the Cardinals have released Hopkins, which is surprising after rumors of a potential trade this offseason.
Green Bay certainly could benefit from adding a veteran receiver like Hopkins. While the Packers' young receiving corps is talented, they lack experience. Bringing in an All-Pro could help everyone.
Hopkins is still one of the best receivers in the league. The five-time All-Pro turns 31 this summer, but he is only a couple of seasons removed from putting up 1,407 yards and six touchdowns. He averaged 79.7 yards per game last year.
However, Hopkins to the Packers isn't going to happen. Forget about it. Green Bay doesn't have the salary cap space to afford a massive contract, and it's unlikely he would pick the Packers over a contending team.
But that's not the problem. Hopkins becoming available might hurt the Packers another way.
DeAndre Hopkins Packers: Why latest news could be disastrous
The Packers won't sign DeAndre Hopkins, but that doesn't mean a division rival won't.
ESPN's Mina Kimes listed teams that should aggressively pursue Hopkins. At the top were the Detroit Lions.
It would make all the sense in the world for Dan Campbell's team. The Lions have a roster built to win the NFC North and make a run in a wide-open conference. An area they need to improve is wide receiver, especially with second-year Jameson Williams suspended for six games.
Financially, the Lions could afford to offer Hopkins what he wants. According to Over The Cap, only the Chicago Bears and Carolina Panthers have more cap space than Detroit.
The Kansas City Chiefs and Buffalo Bills might seem more appealing to Hopkins, but they are among the three teams with the lowest cap space available.
Detroit would pair Hopkins with Pro Bowler Amon-Ra St. Brown, rookie tight end Sam LaPorta, Marvin Jones, and Williams once he's back from suspension. It would give the Lions a scary receiving corps, and that's concerning for the Packers.
Not long ago, the Packers would've been the perfect landing spot for Hopkins. They had Aaron Rodgers, a dominant offense, and could promise a Super Bowl push.
That's gone. The Lions are now the team to beat in the NFC North. If they are in the mix for Hopkins, it could be disastrous for the Packers.