Recently, the Arizona Cardinals shockingly released veteran wide receiver Deandre Hopkins. Despite his age, Hopkins is still one of the top receivers that the game has to offer and it was very hard to believe that the Cardinals would just let him go for nothing in return.
The move would end up saving Arizona $8,911,114 in cap space, however, they still will take $21,077,776 in dead cap. This will not be a big deal for the Cardinals in the 2023 season as they are set to be potentially the worst team in all of football, but as they could be going into a bit of a rebuilding phase, it seems almost impossible that they could not have gotten some draft capital from trading Hopkins.
According to the Cardinals’ front office, they had released D Hop after they could not find a trade partner. However, this is extremely hard to believe. While Hopkins would have had quite a hefty contract, there likely had to have been at least one team that would have given up a late-round draft pick or two for him.
Despite his age, Hopkins is still a very effective receiver. In his nine games with the Cardinals last season, he pulled in 64 catches on 96 targets for 717 yards and three touchdowns. While this was by no means his best season to date, he was still the top receiver on the Cardinals.
With Hopkins now hitting free agency, he is by far the hottest commodity on the market. Although he will be 31 years old in the 2023 season, he still has the potential to be a number one receiver on most teams or the most elite number two receiver in the league. There are a handful of teams that would be perfect landing spots for him, and he still has what it takes to turn certain teams into Super Bowl contenders.
There are a handful of teams with their names tied to Hopkins right now, and there is a strong chance that he will join one of the top offenses in the league. He was quoted as saying, “I’ve been through three or four GMs in my career, so stable management. A QB who loves the game a QB who brings everybody on board with him and pushes not just himself but everybody around him. And a great defense. A great defense wins championships”. With this likely being the tail end of Hopkins’ Hall of Fame caliber career, it is clear that he has his mind set on putting himself in the best possible spot to win a Super Bowl before his retirement.
Despite the Cardinals being set to be one of the worst teams in the league in 2023 with Kyler Murray still recovering from a very serious injury, the Cardinals should have never released Hopkins. As proven quickly after he hit free agency, there is a market for him, and one of the teams in contention to sign him likely would have been more than willing to give up some draft capital to add him to their roster.
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