DeAndre Hopkins continues to linger on the trade block. The Cardinals are setting a high price for the former All-Pro target, but they have also made calls to teams in an effort to shop the 11th-year wideout around to potentially interested parties.
This week at the league meetings, the new Cardinals HC discussed a future in which Hopkins stays in Arizona. While Jonathan Gannon saying the organization was done with the talented pass catcher would have been a newsier development, the rookie HC can still see an offense with the trade chip back in the fold.
“Right now, I’m operating under the premise Hop is our starting X and people are going to have to defend him,” Gannon said, via AZCardinals.com’s Darren Urban. “That’s probably a better question for Monti [Ossenfort] but [Hopkins] has been great and I am looking forward to working with him.”
Hopkins’ $19.45MM 2023 base salary and $29.99MM cap hit are driving the Cards’ trade effort, with the team’s new regime being in place an obvious factor here as well. Gannon also referred to Hopkins as a valuable asset. That certainly could mean in a trade as well as on the field. Hopkins, 30, also wants to land with a contending team, Outkick.com’s Armando Salguero notes, and may also want another extension as part of his trade agreement.
An extension would allow for the acquiring team to reduce Hopkins’ 2023 numbers, which are borderline untenable — at least at the Cardinals’ compensation ask. Arizona has sought a second-round pick and change for Hopkins, but no reports have indicated a team is willing to send over a trade package on that level. Hopkins’ 2022 PED suspension voided his no-trade clause, which stands to open more doors for the Cardinals. He is also amenable to reworking his contract to facilitate a trade, having hired an agent recently.
Absent an immediate extension agreement, teams want the Cardinals to eat some of Hopkins’ money on the way out, Dan Graziano of ESPN.com notes. As it stands now, the Cardinals would already incur $21.1MM in dead money by trading Hopkins before June 1. Though, agreeing to take on more would improve the pick value here. The Broncos (Von Miller) and Bears (Robert Quinn) have done this to improve the draft compensation coming their way in recent trades, and considering how frequent the Hopkins trade rumors have come up this offseason, it should not be ruled out the retooling Cards will follow this blueprint as well.
The Patriots have looked into Hopkins, but ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler adds the assumed awkwardness in the team having hired ex-Texans HC Bill O’Brien as OC will indeed be an impediment to this particular trade scenario. O’Brien was working as Houston’s de facto GM when Hopkins was traded to Arizona. The Cards’ price has also steered the Pats away from Hopkins. The Bills and Chiefs have also looked into Hopkins. The Ravens can now be added as a suitor, with Fowler adding they have checked on Hopkins and Courtland Sutton. The Broncos want at least a second-round pick for Sutton. Based on Sean Payton‘s most recent stance of retaining both Sutton and Jerry Jeudy, it does not seem Denver has received offers on the level it seeks.
Baltimore has signed Nelson Agholor, but the team (via The Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec) will be targeting more to bolster its long-limited receiving corps. Odell Beckham Jr. is also on the Ravens’ radar, having met with team brass at the league meetings this week. The Ravens have Rashod Bateman and Devin Duvernay coming off major foot injuries; Bateman has missed extensive time in each of his two seasons. The Ravens created a need at the position during the 2022 draft, when they sent Marquise Brown to the Cardinals.
This push for a wideout is not a Lamar Jackson-dependent pursuit, Fowler adds; the Ravens want a receiver upgrade whether the former MVP is still on the roster or not. Based on teams’ caution regarding a Jackson offer sheet, the Ravens should still have a decent chance of patching matters up with the superstar QB.