Should the Steelers go after DeAndre Hopkins following his release?

Steelers, DeAndre Hopkins
Steelers, DeAndre Hopkins / Christian Petersen/GettyImages

After the Cardinals insisted that DeAndre Hopkins was going to be part of their long-term plans, Arizona released the three-time First-Team All-Pro receiver on May 26th. Hopkins instantly becomes the hottest name on the market.

Hopkins was suspended for the first six games of the 2022 season for violating the league's performance-enhancing drugs policy. Upon his return, however, the star receiver managed 717 yards in just 9 games last year. This was the second year in a row that Hopkins wasn't able to see the field for more than 10 games.

Regardless, he has still been excellent with his opportunities in recent years. In 2021, averaged an impressive 8.9 yards per target and graded out as the 15th-best receiver in the league, per Pro Football Focus.

Now the bidding war begins as hopeful playoff contenders will look to sign them to their squad. Should the Pittsburgh Steelers consider throwing money at DeAndre Hopkins?

Should Steelers sign DeAndre Hopkins?

There's no question that DeAndre Hopkins would help Pittsburgh's offense and ensure that Kenny Pickett makes a sophomore leap in 2023. However, this comes down to both money and fit, and the Steelers' front office may not think it's the best match.

Currently, the Steelers have just over $11.2 million in salary cap space as we get set to enter the summer, per Over the Cap. But don't confuse that with spending money. Kevin Colbert always liked to keep $8-9 million in cap space entering the season in the event of injuries. This doesn't give the Steelers much money to work with to negotiate a deal with a quality receiver.

Financially, there are ways the team could get this done. One of them is by restructuring the contract of T.J. Watt. The question the Steelers would need to ask is whether or not it's worth doing to bring in Hopkins.

The reason why I can't see this working comes down to a matter of both depth and scheme fit. Hopkins (or at least should) become the top target on the team. As much as we didn't like Diontae Johnson's season in 2022, his skill set definitely seems like a better compliment to George Pickens'.

Obviously, Hopkins would still be an improvement over Johnson -- even though he turns 31 years old in June. For his sake, however, he may want to go to a high-powered offense with an established quarterback who can get him the ball consistently.

Next. 3 Steelers who are already turning heads at OTAs. 3 Steelers who are already turning heads at OTAs. dark

The Pittsburgh Steelers plan to be a power-run football team in 2023, and while I believe DeAndre Hopkins would help, it seems like there is very little chance that this is a move that Omar Khan considers.