The Arizona Cardinals reportedly cut star veteran receiver DeAndre Hopkins on Friday.
— Ahn Fire Digital (@AhnFireDigital) May 26, 2023
The Cardinals attempted to trade WR DeAndre Hopkins, per sources. But the contract, injury history, recent suspension and age all factored into teams being reluctant to complete a deal. Now as a free agent, the contract won't be nearly as much of an obstacle.
— Jeff Howe (@jeffphowe) May 26, 2023
Hopkins is one of the league’s top receivers when healthy, but he had a major cap number and spent part of the 2022 season suspended due to violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs.
With Arizona potentially facing a rebuilding year after quarterback Kyler Murray tore his ACL near the end of the 2022 campaign, the team is cutting bait with Hopkins.
Earlier this offseason, it was rumored that the Cardinals were trying to get a package for Hopkins similar to the one the Carolina Panthers received in their Christian McCaffrey trade with the San Francisco 49ers.
The Panthers received a 2023 NFL Draft second-round pick, 2023 third-rounder, 2023 fourth-rounder and 2024 fifth-round pick in that deal with San Francisco.
However, Hopkins was not dealt by the 2023 NFL Draft, signaling that the Cardinals were unable to find a trade package to their liking. It was reported that Hopkins’ market was held up by the contract the Baltimore Ravens gave receiver Odell Beckham Jr. earlier this offseason.
Now, the Cardinals and Hopkins have come to what appeared to be an inevitable divorce given all the speculation surrounding his future this offseason.
It’ll be interesting to see which team the former first-round pick ends up signing with. He recently revealed which five quarterbacks he’d most like to catch passes from.
On a recent appearance on the “I Am Athlete” podcast, free-agent WR DeAndre Hopkins listed the five QBs he’d most like to catch passes from: the Bills’ Josh Allen, the Eagles’ Jalen Hurts, the Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes, the Ravens’ Lamar Jackson and the Chargers’ Justin Herbert.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) May 26, 2023
Despite his suspension in the 2022 season, Hopkins was great for Arizona when he was on the field. The veteran wide receiver caught 64 of his 96 targets in nine games. He turned those 64 receptions into 717 yards and three touchdowns in the process.
A five-time Pro Bowler, Hopkins has six seasons where he’s cleared 1,000 receiving yards. He also has 71 career receiving touchdowns.
There should be plenty of suitors looking to sign Hopkins to bolster their receiving corps now that teams know they won’t have to pay his major salary that was left on his deal with Arizona.
Hopkins’ deal with Arizona carried a base salary of over $19 million for the 2023 season and north of $14 million for the 2024 season. That would’ve been a major commitment to a veteran receiver, even one as talented as Hopkins.
Arizona will move forward with Marquise Brown, Rondale Moore, Greg Dortch, Michael Wilson, Zach Pascal and others at receiver in the 2023 season.