From the time DeAndre Hopkins was available, if only theoretically as the Arizona Cardinals were ready to move on and later when he was a free agent, the Detroit Lions have been convenient to point to as a fit.
Hopkins of course eventually signed with the Tennessee Titans in mid-July, which proved where his priorities were on the "win or get paid" scale. He took the most money. But just before the season started an interview he did with GQ was published. In it, he called out a few teams that didn't want him.
"There were some teams that I had on my list that I gave them calls and they didn't give a call back,""Detroit Lions, they didn't want me. Dallas Cowboys didn't want me. Giants didn't want me. Sh*t. Who else ain't want me? San Fran ain't want me.""
Hopkins probably didn't mean to list the teams that rejected him in any kind of order, but his mentioning of the Lions first could be construed as meaningful. Maybe them not returning his call stuck with him.
DeAndre Hopkins is still not a fit with the Detroit Lions
Based on plenty of rumors and reports, the 2-4 Titans are sellers at the trade deadline. Hopkins is among the biggest names on the team that other teams view as available, and a veteran receiver on short-term deal is a prime trade candidate
In a broad sense, a case can be made that the Lions could use a piece in their wide receiver corps and Marvin Jones' departure to handle a personal matter has no real impact on that as Tuesday's trade deadline gets closer.
John Fields of Pro Football Network put the Lions on his list of best fits for Hopkins.
Detroit has gotten strong production from Amon-Ra St. Brown (57 catches, 557 yards, three TDs), Josh Reynolds (21 catches, 384 yards, three TDs), and Kalif Raymond (16 catches, 207 yards, one TD), but could certainly stand to add another proven option like Hopkins."
"Jared Goff is out to a strong start leading the Lions’ prolific offense. He could benefit from having another playmaker, particularly one with Hopkins’ experience, that could deliver come playoff time.
"Detroit could take another step toward asserting itself among the NFL’s contenders by moving for a bona fide playmaker in Hopkins."
Trading for Hopkins would be an all-in style move for the Lions, or any team that acquired him. His production has not been great this season (27 catches for 376 yards and zero touchdowns in six games), but the Titans' quarterback situation is the biggest reason for that.
Still, the reasons Hopkins is (still) not a fit for the Lions are stronger than the reasons he is a fit. And some of those reasons are before we even get into a conversation about his ability, or how his skill set might fit in the offense.