The Baltimore Ravens’ signing of wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. last month probably won’t be remembered as the biggest news of the 2023 NFL offseason, but the effects of the deal are apparently still being felt around the league.
According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, Beckham’s deal — a one-year agreement worth up to $18 million — may be impacting the trade market for Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins.
“This is a name who’s been percolating for a while now,” Fowler said of Hopkins. “This issue really is money. I’ve talked to multiple teams who believe a deal with Arizona is stagnant, there’s not a whole lot going on because he’s got that $19 million salary on the books. And I’ve talked to teams who think that Odell Beckham contract that happened a while ago is sort of a hindrance here for Hopkins because Odell Beckham got $15 million guaranteed, up to $18 million in incentives on a one-year deal. If you’re Hopkins, you’re saying: ‘Hey, I’m more qualified, I’ve done a little more than Beckham. I can’t take less than that, take a huge pay cut to go to a contender.’ But you still have Buffalo, Kansas City, teams who could be looking for a receiver.”
Hopkins’ name has been mentioned in countless trade rumors this offseason, but there’s still no deal to show for it. The 30-year-old is both talented and productive enough to give any offense some serious life, but as things currently stand, it’s anyone’s guess where he’ll spend the 2023 season.
It’s worth noting that the veteran’s last couple of seasons have been unusual from an availability standpoint. His time on the field was significantly reduced in the 2021 season due to injuries, and he missed a good chunk of the 2022 campaign while serving a suspension.
However, he was still productive over those two seasons when he was on the field, totaling 1,289 receiving yards and 11 scores across 19 games.
Prior to the 2021 campaign, Hopkins had exceeded 1,000 receiving yards in four consecutive seasons. He’s a five-time Pro Bowler and three-time first-team All-Pro selection, and it seems like he still has plenty left in the tank.
If the former first-round pick is traded, he’d presumably love to land with a contender, as he’s still chasing his first Super Bowl ring. Hopkins has tasted the postseason several times throughout his career, but he’s never gone the distance and won it all.
There are clearly a lot of factors at play when it comes to his future in the NFL, and it’s fascinating that a contract a player signed with a different team earlier this offseason may be part of the reason why Hopkins is still with the Cardinals.