The Cardinals and DeAndre Hopkins are nearing agreement on a contract extension, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). Hopkins – who left CAA earlier this summer – negotiated the contract himself.
Terms of the deal are not yet known, but it could very well position him as the highest-paid non-quarterback in the NFL. That title currently belongs to Bears linebacker Khalil Mack, who’s earning $23.5MM per season. Anything over $22MM per year on average would vault Hopkins to the top of the wide receiver list, ahead of Falcons star Julio Jones.
Hopkins has three years to go on his original Texans deal, which pays him just $12.5MM this year. Beyond that, he’s got two more seasons of below-market, non-guaranteed pay. The three-time First-Team All-Pro has averaged 90+ catches, ~1,230 yards, and eight touchdowns per year in the NFL. Meanwhile, he ranks ninth among all wide receivers in average annual value, behind Jones, Amari Cooper, Michael Thomas, A.J. Green, Tyreek Hill, Odell Beckham, Mike Evans, and Brandin Cooks.
The Cardinals knew that extension talks were on the horizon with Hopkins when they pulled off their stunning trade in March. It won’t come cheap but, on the plus side, they didn’t give up much to acquire one of the game’s most dangerous offensive players. For a net cost of David Johnson and a second-round pick, they now tout Hopkins as their top receiver ahead of Larry Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.