Cards GM Steve Keim said he has engaged in discussions with the agents for both of the team’s recently acquired skill-position players. This follows a report that indicated he had spoken directly with Hopkins about his contract, which runs through 2022.
“Both those guys are guys we’d like to have long-term,” Keim said, via Darren Urban of AZCardinals.com. “Again, if it makes our organization better and the opportunity arises, we will certainly do that. I’ve had communication with both their agents. We’ll continue to pound away. The draft is the most important part right now, but we will continue to have ongoing talks with both of those players’ agents.”
Drake signed his $8.5MM transition tender last month and now has a firm grip on the Cardinals’ starting running back job after the Hopkins trade included David Johnson. The Cardinals just freed themselves from what became an albatross contract, with Johnson struggling to deliver on the $13MM-per-year deal he signed in 2018.
Bill O’Brien confirmed Hopkins wanted a raise. While Nuk’s deal topped every other receiver’s when he signed it in 2017, the $16.2MM-AAV pact is now barely inside the top 10 among receivers. Teams rarely commit to new contracts for players signed for three more seasons, but the Cardinals trading for Hopkins may make this a special circumstance. With Larry Fitzgerald on a year-to-year track, Hopkins now profiles as Arizona’s No. 1 long-term target. The three-time All-Pro will surely pursue a deal that approaches Julio Jones‘ $22MM-AAV accord.