Cardinals Make Shocking Decision To Cut All-Pro WR DeAndre Hopkins

DeAndre Hopkins

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In a surprising turn of events, the Arizona Cardinals have officially announced the release of star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins.

Despite a challenging 2022 season, which included a suspension for violating the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy and several missed games, Hopkins still demonstrated his worth as a No. 1 target. In just nine starts, he recorded 64 receptions for 717 yards and three touchdowns, showcasing his exceptional skills and playmaking abilities.

The inability of the Cardinals to find a suitable trade partner for Hopkins is unexpected, particularly considering his impressive performances and track record. With a substantial cap number of $29 million, it appears that no team was willing to take on such a financial burden in a potential trade deal.

As a result, the Cardinals decided to release Hopkins, giving him the opportunity to explore his options and negotiate directly with interested teams.

Hopkins will now have the freedom to shop his services to teams across the league. Throughout the offseason, he has been linked to various potential suitors, including contenders such as the Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs, who have expressed interest in acquiring the talented wideout.

Additionally, teams in need of a top-tier wide receiver, such as New England Patriots and Baltimore Ravens, have also been mentioned as potential landing spots for Hopkins.

While the release of Hopkins provides the Cardinals with some cap space relief, it also comes at a cost. Arizona will incur a dead cap hit of $21 million in 2023 as a result of this transaction.

Considering the ongoing recovery of quarterback Kyler Murray from an ACL tear suffered late in the 2022 season, it may be advantageous for the Cardinals to address their roster needs promptly. By parting ways with Hopkins, the team can focus on restructuring their offense and surrounding Murray with the necessary weapons to ensure their success in the upcoming season.

The Cardinals acquired DeAndre Hopkins in March 2020 through a trade with the Houston Texans. In his first year with the club, he made an immediate impact, recording 115 receptions for 1,407 yards and six touchdowns. However, injuries limited his availability in the following season, as he played in only 10 games and accumulated 42 receptions for 572 yards.

In a recent episode of the I Am Athlete podcast, recorded while Hopkins was still with the Cardinals, he provided insight into what he would be looking for in his next team.

Hopkins emphasized the importance of playing with a quarterback who loves the game and can rally the entire team around him. Hopkins also expressed the desire for a great defense, stating that “Defense wins championships” and highlighting the significance of having a strong defensive line. Additionally, stability within the team’s management structure was a priority for Hopkins, who revealed that he had already been through four general managers throughout his career.

With his release from the Cardinals, DeAndre Hopkins is now a free agent and has the opportunity to choose his next team. He has expressed interest in playing with quarterbacks such as Josh Allen of the Buffalo Bills, Jalen Hurts of the Philadelphia Eagles, Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs, Lamar Jackson of the Baltimore Ravens, and Justin Herbert of the Los Angeles Chargers.

As he enters the free agency market, Hopkins will have the chance to evaluate offers and select a team that aligns with his criteria and aspirations.

The release of DeAndre Hopkins marks the end of an era for the Arizona Cardinals, but it opens up a world of possibilities for the star wide receiver as he embarks on a new chapter in his career.