New England is welcoming the All-Pro receiver to its home next week, reportedly hosting Hopkins for a visit as the free agent looks to find his next team.
While there have been many questions about Hopkins considering the Patriots as a destination because of Bill O'Brien's presence at offensive coordinator, that obviously hasn't deterred the receiver from taking a visit with the team.
ESPN NFL analyst Ryan Clark also believes O'Brien will fall in line if the Patriots sign Hopkins.
“But the Bill that is running things in New England is not Bill O'Brien. Bill O'Brien is a soldier in the army of Bill Belichick,” Clark said on Friday's “NFL Live.” “He's going to do what he does. He's going to do what Bill Belichick says.”
Clark also thinks that Hopkins' character would also make it so that any possible prior beef between O'Brien and the receiver wouldn't be an issue.
“On the other side of this, think about some of the peculiar characters that have gone through the New England Patriots and excelled,” Clark said. “Guys who were deemed harder to deal with than DeAndre Hopkins has ever been. Everyone says DeAndre Hopkins is amazing in the locker room and say he's an amazing teammate and a great leader.
“So, now you team him up with Bill Belichick and the way that he'll work, the way that he'll produce, it doesn't matter what the hell Bill O'Brien says or what Bill O'Brien wants or what relationship Bill O'Brien has with DeAndre Hopkins.”
Clark also believes that O'Brien knows his role in New England and would be willing to accept Hopkins and work with him.
“If Bill Belichick tells Bill O'Brien to jump, Bill O'Brien is going to say, ‘How high?'” Clark said. “So, he'll step in line and he'll make sure he's getting along with DeAndre Hopkins because the one thing DeAndre Hopkins is going to do is he's going to move chains, catch footballs and score touchdowns. That's more than what Bill O'Brien can do for Bill Belichick right now.”
.@Realrclark25 doesn't think DeAndre Hopkins and Bill O'Brien's past will stop him from landing with the New England Patriots 👀
"If Bill Belichick tells Bill O'Brien to jump, Bill O'Brien is going to say, 'How high?'" pic.twitter.com/dNL8IHKox1
— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) June 9, 2023
Many wondered throughout the offseason if the Patriots would be able to land Hopkins due to the way his tenure with the Houston Texans ended. O'Brien, who was re-hired as the Patriots' offensive coordinator this offseason, was the Texans' head coach and general manager at the time of the trade and there were rumors that the two were not on the best of terms when they shipped Hopkins out in 2020.
But it was reported earlier this that O'Brien would likely be OK with the team signing Hopkins.
“Despite perception out there, my sense is that O’Brien would be plenty on board with, not against, signing Hopkins (and Hopkins had his most productive years playing for O’Brien in Houston),” Monday Morning Quarterback's Albert Breer wrote in his weekly column.