KC Chiefs seem to be fading in DeAndre Hopkins sweepstakes

New England Patriots v Arizona Cardinals
New England Patriots v Arizona Cardinals / Christian Petersen/GettyImages

The DeAndre Hopkins ride might be coming to an end.

It's been a long, long offseason when it comes to figuring out the future of wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins. From months of trade speculation away from the Arizona Cardinals to a rumored release and back to more trade rumors, Hopkins has been a perpetual headline throughout the entire spring as teams have reportedly been in the hunt for the potential Hall of Fame wideout—including the Kansas City Chiefs.

For all of the talk about Hopkins this offseason on the part of several teams, the Chiefs have always been in the midst of such talks. Other contenders have come and gone—from the Baltimore Ravens to the Buffalo Bills to the New York Jets—but the Chiefs have remained an allegedly interested party all the while.

The latest rumors have the New England Patriots as the frontrunners to reach a deal with the wide receiver.

What's been interesting about their posture throughout the rumors is that the Chiefs have obviously drawn some hard lines. There's enough smoke to believe the team would be interested in adding a receiver like Hopkins—and they should—but the lack of movement to clear the requisite dollars or their unwillingness to serve up draft assets in return show that the Chiefs know they already have a Super Bowl caliber offense and they aren't going to mortgage any sustained success for short-term hopes.

For his part, Hopkins has come around at times with a rumored interest in joining the Chiefs as well. The heat on both sides could have indicated a deal in due time, but Hopkins is clearly out for more money even after earning over $114 million from previous contracts in his career. He might want to win, but winning while being paid is even better—and that's perhaps how Bill Belichick is pitching his services these days.

The latest rumor to surface has the New England Patriots as the likely team to sign Hopkins, if Jeff Howe of the Athletic is reading the tea leaves correctly. Hopkins will visit the Pats on Thursday in Foxborough and he says both sides are hopeful a deal can get done. While that sort of report can get floated in advance of a new visit in order to create greater pressure on other parties, it could also be the red carpet laid for an obvious signing to come.

If Hopkins lands with New England, it will be an interesting addition to the Patriots WR corps considering they also lured JuJu Smith-Schuster away from Kansas City as well earlier in free agency. Together with Davante Parker and Kendrick Bourne along with last year's second round pick Tyquan Thornton, the Patriots will have reloaded their weapons for Mac Jones in his third season.

As for the Chiefs, they proved last season that a committee approach can work when your quarterback is the Most Valuable Player in the game. Given the overall youth and inexperience in the room, it's a unit that will only get better with time and perhaps the Chiefs are willing to wait to see what that brings.