Arizona Cardinals Cut DeAndre Hopkins, And There Might Be Handful Of Top Teams Interested In Star WR

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It’s no secret the Arizona Cardinals have been trying to trade wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins and no secret no team has shown enough interest to make a deal because assuming his contract is a bad idea. That no longer matters.

The Cardinals on Friday announced they released Hopkins outright.

Although we are only days away from June 1 and waiting a few days or designating the release as post-June 1 would have spread the $22.6 million cap hit of the release over two seasons, the Cardinals didn’t do that.

The Cardinals are going to be bad this season and they apparently know it. Might as well take the brunt of the cap hit this year.

Wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins of the Arizona Cardinals during the NFL game at State Farm Stadium on October 10, 2021 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals defeated the 49ers 17-10. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

DeAndre Hopkins Trade Market Was Dry

Hopkins drew virtually zero interest on the trade market because the Cardinals didn’t wish to pay part of the $19.45 million salary due him in exchange for minimal trade compensation.

But as a free agent, the receiver and his new team will set a new contract. And because Hopkins has a say in where he lands, he might be willing to do a one-year deal or a multi-year deal that doesn’t break the bank. (Good luck on the latter happening).

So the question now is where to next?

The important issues for Hopkins, beyond the contract, is the organization and the quarterback he’s going to be tied to.

Hopkins said on a recent Iamathlete podcast that QB play is important to him. He’s spent the last three seasons in Arizona playing with Kyler Murray and together they have been an inconsistent battery. So Hopkins wants greatness on the other end of his passes.

Kyler Murray of the Arizona Cardinals warms up before kickoff against the New England Patriots at State Farm Stadium on December 12, 2022 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images)

Kyler Murray, Hopkins Had Mixed Results

He has said he wants a quarterback that loves the game and is collaborative. Having said that, Hopkins was careful not to step on Murray’s reputation that has already suffered in the past.

“Kyler is a quarterback who loves the game, but he’s injured,” Hopkins said on the podcast. “Right now, I’m playing with Colt McCoy – who I love – but who knows? Right now I don’t currently have a Pro Bowl quarterback.”

Hopkins said he also wants what he referred to as an organization with “stable management.” And he wants his new team’s defense to be good.

“Defense wins championships,” he’s said. “Got to have a great D-line.”

It’s a wonder Hopkins isn’t asking for a grass field, an indoor facility, massages after every practice and limo service to and from everywhere. Not that he won’t get that anyway, depending where he goes.

So what teams are in the market for a 30-year old receiver who has been a Pro Bowl player five times, the last time in 2020?

Josh Allen of the Buffalo Bills runs the ball for a touchdown during the fourth quarter in the game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on December 24, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)

Bills Will Be Attractive To Hopkins

Start with the Buffalo Bills.

That has to be among the priorities because they definitely meet the criteria starting with quarterback Josh Allen. The Bills also have a need in that the club could use a complementary receiver opposite Stefon Diggs.

How about the Kansas City Chiefs? What receiver wouldn’t covet playing with quarterback Patrick Mahomes and help defend a Super Bowl title?

The Chiefs this offseason lost receivers Mecole Hardman and JuJu Smith-Schuster in free agency.

The Ravens might be a fit. They’ve already added Odell Beckham Jr. and are getting Rashod Bateman back from injury. They also drafted Zay Flowers in the first round of the NFL draft. Adding Hopkins would give the Ravens arguably a Top 5 receiver corps.

Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs throws a pass against the Las Vegas Raiders during the first half of the game at Allegiant Stadium on January 07, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Getty Images)

A Chance To Play With Patrick Mahomes

Plus the Ravens are one of the most well-run organizations and Lamar Jackson settling his contract situation earlier this month has them pointed toward very good things.

The Patriots have been mentioned among teams that might be interested in Hopkins but it might be a stretch.

Quarterback Mac Jones is solid but not great. They have a need and they have a stable organization.

But new offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien was the head coach in Houston when the Texans traded Hopkins to the Arizona Cardinals. O’Brien was actually also acting as GM when the trade was made.

O’Brien doesn’t have that kind of pull in New England now, but would the Patriots sign a player a coach who would directly work with the player already traded away previously? And would Hopkins go for it?

Follow on Twitter: @ArmandoSalguero

Written by Armando Salguero


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  1. This actually kind of screws him for this year doesn’t it? It may help him secure a multi-year deal because of the cap-constraints of essentially every team at this point, but it means he can only get a signing bonus this year and a minimum base salary. This timing is very odd for a number of reasons.

  2. You should study over the cap dot com Before you write your articles the chiefs have 100000 and salary cap room. The bills have one million the bears have the most at 32 million. I want you to learn how to write articles. you’ve been in this long enough but you’ve forgotten your journalism skills.

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