DeAndre Hopkins

DeAndre Hopkins Interested In Joining Contender; Ravens In On Cardinals WR, Others

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’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,’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 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.

AFC East Notes: Ramsey, Patriots, Hardman

A year after acquiring Tyreek Hill and Bradley Chubb via trade, the Dolphins added another standout in Jalen Ramsey. Miami became a destination for Ramsey, whom Albert Breer of notes had zeroed in on landing with the AFC East club. Sean McVay met with Ramsey in January and informed him the Rams would explore trade options, mentioning the team would explore a deal as a way to restock its draft capital and reduce costs. Rams GM Les Snead called teams two weeks before the Combine to gauge interest, and after Dolphins GM Chris Grier confirmed his team might be, Vic Fangio provided a positive opinion of Ramsey’s place in his defense.

After Ramsey’s agent informed him about a Miami deal, the All-Pro cornerback instructed his representative to make sure he ended up there. The Rams may not have traded Ramsey to the Dolphins just because he wanted to be there, Jourdan Rodrigue of The Athletic tweets, but they did want him out of the NFC. Snead’s price point was initially too high for the Dolphins, per Breer, but the sides settled on a package of a third-round pick and tight end Hunter Long. A far cry from what the Rams sent the Jaguars for Ramsey in 2019 — two first-round picks and a fourth — but the Dolphins now have the eighth-year veteran on the roster and have since adjusted his contract.

Here is the latest from the AFC East:

  • The Patriots discussed DeAndre Hopkins with the Cardinals early this offseason, per The Athletic’s Jeff Howe, but they backed off due to Arizona’s ask (subscription required). The Cardinals are rumored to be seeking a second-round pick and change here. The NFC West team is not expected to land that, as Howe adds other teams believe the Cards want to dump Hopkins’ salary ($19.45MM in 2023). The Bills and Chiefs are now the closest links to the former All-Pro wideout.
  • Mecole Hardman committed to the Jets after Aaron Rodgers indicated he wanted to be traded to New York, but the ex-Chiefs wideout said (via ESPN’s Rich Cimini) the four-time MVP’s intentions did not affect his decision. While it would seem that would have at least moved the needle a bit — compared to a world in which Zach Wilson was on track for a third QB1 Jets season, at least — Hardman said he was excited to play with Garrett Wilson and Allen Lazard. Hardman added (via the New York Post’s Brian Costello) the Jets showed interest throughout his free agency, which ended with a one-year deal worth up to $6.5MM. Hardman did not elaborate on a Chiefs offer to bring him back, but he seemed to confirm the defending champions’ previously reported plan to move on.
  • A faction of the Patriots‘ locker room voiced support for Bailey Zappe during last season’s brief QB controversy, Devin McCourty confirmed during a WEEI interview (via ESPN’s Mike Reiss). “It was just a back and forth, which to me, spoke more about what we had on offense than the quarterback,” McCourty said. “We never were solidified as an offensive group that guys had full confidence in anything we were doing. There was never true hope.” The Pats, who regressed on offense in 2022, have since rehired Bill O’Brien as OC. While Mac Jones won his job back amid a dysfunctional season, the Pats will give Zappe a chance to push him this year.
  • The incentives in Mike Gesicki‘s one-year, $4.5MM Patriots contract include $300K bumps starting at the 40-reception mark, Doug Kyed of tweets. Gesicki could collect $1.2MM if he reaches 70 catches in 2023. There are also up to $1.2MM in available yardage incentives, with that escalator package starting at 450 yards and ending at 750. Playing-time incentives are also included in the package.
  • Up to $4MM in incentives are present in Riley Reiff‘s one-year, $5MM deal. He will earn $800K by playing 53% of the Pats’ offensive snaps, per Kyed (on Twitter). These figures decrease the higher the snap rate goes, but Reiff can earn all $4.5MM by reaching an 80% snap rate.

Bills Interested In DeAndre Hopkins

Entering free agency with rumored receiver interest, the Bills have added two depth pieces (Deonte Harty, Trent Sherfield) to their pass-catching equation. They appear to be considering a much bigger swing.

The Bills are interested in trading for DeAndre Hopkins, Aaron Wilson of KPRC2 reports (on Twitter). Buffalo joins Kansas City as teams believed to be in on the Arizona wideout, but Wilson adds Baltimore is not part of this pursuit. Hopkins appears to have heard Bills rumors as well (audio link). Extensive Hopkins interest exists, but his contract is an obvious impediment.

[RELATED: Hopkins Trade Market Accelerating?]

The Cardinals are believed to want a second-round pick and an additional asset for the 11th-year veteran, but Albert Breer of hears that type of return is not expected to be in the cards. No contract adjustment has occurred, though it should be expected. Hopkins is open to that. As of now, however, Hopkins is tied to a $19.45MM base salary ahead of his age-31 season. While Breer adds Hopkins should fetch the Cardinals more than the Texans obtained in their Brandin Cooks pick-swap deal with the Cowboys — one that sent a 2023 fifth-round pick and a 2024 sixth to Houston — he expects the return to be closer to the Cooks price than what the Cardinals are seeking.

Connected in trade rumors since before the 2022 deadline, Hopkins now no longer has a no-trade clause. Due to language in the former All-Pro’s contract, his 2022 PED suspension voided it. The Bills would seemingly appeal to veteran wide receivers, given the presences of Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs. Hopkins and Diggs were traded on the same day in March 2020. Hopkins has not been viewed as a No. 2 wideout since his early days with Andre Johnson in Houston; he would certainly be classified as such in Buffalo.

It would undoubtedly take a contract adjustment for Hopkins to land on the Bills’ cap sheet. Diggs is tied to a $24MM-per-year deal. Only the Chargers have two receivers earning at least $20MM per year, and each is tied to $20MM-AAV deals. Buffalo’s No. 1 target is tied to a long-term extension; Hopkins’ 2020 Cardinals re-up runs through 2024. His $27MM-per-year contract calls for $19.4 and $14.9MM base salaries over the next two years. The Bills have more than $9MM in cap space, though the team did add guard David Edwards earlier today.

Buffalo rosters Gabe Davis as well, but the former fourth-round pick is going into a contract year. Davis and the since-released Isaiah McKenzie battled inconsistency last season. Hopkins’ PED suspension and his injuries over the past two years have injected unreliability into his career path, one that previously had the contested-catch maven entrenched as one of the NFL’s steadiest stars. Hopkins ripped off three straight first-team All-Pro seasons (2017-19) and topped 1,000 receiving yards six times in seven years. He has not surpassed 800 in a season since 2020; the ban and injury trouble limited him to nine games in 2022.

The Ravens are not in too much worse cap shape than the Bills are, sitting at just more than $7MM. But they also must factor in the chance of needing to match a monster Lamar Jackson offer sheet, which could feature the second-most fully guaranteed money in NFL history. Baltimore does need receiving help far more than Buffalo or Kansas City do, seeing Rashod Bateman and Devin Duvernay each go down with injuries.

Kansas City has been connected to both Hopkins and Odell Beckham Jr. The Bills hosted Beckham on a visit in December but have not been linked to him this offseason. The Chiefs have lost JuJu Smith-Schuster and Mecole Hardman in free agency, seeing each head to the AFC East (Patriots, Jets). The Bills hold one draft choice in each of the first five rounds and carry two in the fifth. They obtained a fifth from the Cardinals in last summer’s Cody Ford swap and sent their own to the Colts for Nyheim Hines. The Chiefs are in slightly better shape, holding an extra fourth-round pick due to their Tyreek Hill trade.

While Diggs and Davis’ presences would make Hopkins a bit of a luxury item for the Bills, they have seen the Chiefs impede their Super Bowl pursuits. Hopkins as an additional weapon would add more intrigue to this rivalry. The Bengals have now leapfrogged the Bills in the AFC hierarchy as well, and the AFC East figures to be stronger in 2023 thanks to Jalen Ramsey and, most likely, Aaron Rodgers entering the mix. As the competition intensifies, the Bills are seeing what it will take to add a proven pass catcher.

WR Notes: Hopkins, Cardinals, Chiefs, Ridley, Browns, Slayton, Texans, Dolphins

The Brandin Cooks trade domino dropped Sunday morning, leaving DeAndre Hopkins as the only clear-cut impact receiver trade chip available. The Cardinals continue to shop the 11th-year veteran, and’s Ian Rapoport notes talks are ramping up (Twitter link). Hopkins is amenable to adjusting his contract to facilitate a deal, and Rapoport adds an adjusted contract is likely. As is, Hopkins’ through-2024 contract calls for a $19.45MM base salary this season. That will likely be untenable to interested teams.

As far as interested parties go, the Chiefs are viewed as a team angling to acquire a veteran. Whether it is Hopkins or Odell Beckham Jr., veteran NFL reporter Mike Jurecki adds (on Twitter) Kansas City is on the market for an addition. With JuJu Smith-Schuster signing with the Patriots, it is unsurprising the defending champions are interested in upgrading. Mecole Hardman remains a free agent, and while the Chiefs were expected to move on from the speedster, his price range may have dropped considering his extended stay in free agency. Patrick Mahomesrestructure created $9.6MM in cap space for the Chiefs, though they sit at just more than $9MM as of Tuesday.

Staying on the Hopkins front, here is the latest from the receiver scene:

  • The Browns are not believed to be interested in reuniting Hopkins with Deshaun Watson, Josina Anderson of CBS Sports tweets. Cleveland has a big contract at receiver (Amari Cooper‘s) already, though the team could benefit from a veteran presence alongside its No. 1 target. The Browns did host Marquise Goodwin on a visit that has spanned from Monday to today, Anderson adds (on Twitter). Goodwin spent last season with the Seahawks, catching 27 passes for 387 yards and four touchdowns. The former Olympic long jumper is going into his age-33 season.
  • Darius Slayton is back with the Giants, re-signing on a two-year deal worth $12MM. That contract includes $4.9MM guaranteed, The Athletic’s Dan Duggan tweets. This can be treated more like a one-year deal; the Giants can save $6MM by cutting Slayton in 2024. That said, Slayton said (via the New York Post’s Ryan Dunleavy) he received other offers in free agency. The Giants, despite burying him on their initial 2022 depth chart and cutting his pay, reached out early and will have the former fifth-round pick back in the fold. The team’s improvement last season helped convince Slayton to stay.
  • A year after he signed for the exact terms Slayton reached (with the Jets), Braxton Berrios is now in Miami. The ex-Hurricanes receiver agreed to terms with the Dolphins on what KPRC2’s Aaron Wilson notes is a one-year, $3.5MM pact (Twitter link). Berrios will receive $3MM guaranteed, giving him a good chance of being part of the Dolphins’ 53-man roster. The Dolphins still have Cedrick Wilson and brought back River Cracraft and Freddie Swain last week.
  • Noah Brown‘s one-year Texans deal is worth $2.6MM, Tom Pelissero of tweets. The longtime Cowboys wideout received $2.25MM guaranteed and can add an additional $500K through incentives.
  • Addressing his season-long gambling suspension recently, Calvin Ridley said he deposited $1,500 into an unspecified betting app and, after making approximately $200 worth of NBA bets, he included the Falcons in a parlay. Denying he had inside information, Ridley said (via a piece on The Players’ Tribune) he had been away from the Falcons for a month, was not talking to anyone on the team and made the bet to root for his teammates. Regarding Ridley’s midseason Falcons exit in 2021, the former first-round pick said he was dealing with depression and anxiety. Ridley said he played most of the 2020 season (a career-high 1,374-yard slate) on a broken foot, but he was not informed of the break until June 2021. He underwent surgery, which was described as a minor procedure, but said he was not close to 100% by Week 1. This and Ridley’s house being robbed on that Week 1 Sunday intensified his anxiety. The NFL reinstated Ridley, now with the Jaguars, earlier this month.

DeAndre Hopkins Hires Agent, Open To Adjusting Contract

MARCH 19: In an update on Hopkins’ situation, veteran reporter Mike Jurecki notes that the five-time Pro Bowler’s willingness to adjust his contract does not necessarily guarantee that he would be open to taking a pay cut (Twitter link). Doing so would likely be needed to make an acquiring team more amenable to a trade, and could be hinted at by his reported lack of desire to reset the WR market on his next deal. With many members of this year’s free agent class having agreed to new deals, it will be interesting to monitor how much attention Hopkins and the Cardinals get on the matter of a potential trade, something which will be affected by his contract status.

MARCH 8: The Amari Cooper, Davante Adams and Tyreek Hill trades occurred within two weeks of each other last March. With teams staring at a mediocre free agent wide receiver class this year, it should be expected some movement will take place as clubs prepare to make upgrades.

DeAndre Hopkins remains the top name believed to be available. Mentioned in trade rumors for several weeks, Hopkins is obviously hearing the rumblings about his Arizona departure. Jonathan Gannon stopped short of guaranteeing Hopkins would be a Cardinal in 2023, and the former All-Pro pass catcher offered a similar status update Wednesday.

I’ve been hearing a lot of trade talks, but I take things day for day,” Hopkins said during a Pat McAfee Show appearance (video link). “I don’t look forward for the future, I live in the present moment. Right now, the Arizona Cardinals is the team and roster that I’m on. I’m preparing myself for whatever the future holds.”

Some changes have occurred with Hopkins since he was last traded, and more may be coming. Shortly after being traded from the Texans to the Cardinals, Hopkins went through an agent-less negotiation. The 30-year-old standout confirmed Wednesday (via’s Darren Urban, on Twitter) he has since hired an agent. Hopkins’ $27MM-per-year extension has two years remaining, and it might take a contract adjustment for the Cardinals to move his deal. Hopkins is set to make $19.45MM in base salary this year.

Although a trade opens the door to what would be Hopkins’ fourth NFL contract, Ian Rapoport of notes (via Twitter) he is not believed to be seeking a top-market price. Hopkins plans to be flexible regarding his deal’s final two years, which could open the door to more possibilities on the trade front. Hopkins’ trade value has taken a hit, given the injuries and PED suspension that took a previously durable player out of action for much of the past two seasons. Even ahead of an age-31 season, he should still generate considerable attention. A trade might not be far off.

With the thrice-traded Brandin Cooks the only other name steadily mentioned in trade rumors at receiver, Hopkins is expected to fetch the Cardinals a decent price. The team is believed to have worked out trade parameters that involve a second-round pick and change going back to Arizona. A number of teams are interested in Cooks, so it would stand to reason Hopkins is garnering similar interest. Hopkins’ 2022 PED suspension voided the no-trade clause in his contract, providing the Cardinals more flexibility as well.

Patriots To Sign WR JuJu Smith-Schuster

MARCH 16: The $33MM number turned out to be the max value here. Instead, the Patriots signed the seventh-year wideout to a three-year, $25.5MM contract, Ben Volin of the Boston Globe tweets. Like Meyers, he received $16MM guaranteed at signing, but he did not reach an eight-figure AAV. Smith-Schuster can get to that $33MM mark via performance, with Volin adding $7.5MM remains available through receiving yards-based incentives. Only $4.5MM of those incentives are achievable during the deal’s guaranteed years, with’s Albert Breer adding $3MM are part of Smith-Schuster’s 2025 potential earnings (Twitter link).

MARCH 15: While mutual interest existed between the Chiefs and JuJu Smith-Schuster, the veteran wide receiver looks set to change teams again. The Patriots are signing the seventh-year wideout, Taylor Bisciotti and Ian Rapoport of report (on Twitter).

The Chiefs made efforts to bring back Smith-Schuster, their leading wide receiver in 2022, Dianna Russini of tweets. But the Pats will acquire a versatile performer to replace Jakobi Meyers, who committed to the Raiders on Tuesday.

This situation appeared to come down to how much of a hometown discount Smith-Schuster would accept; he said before Super Bowl LVII he wanted to stay in Kansas City. It is unclear how much the Chiefs offered, but Mike Giardi of tweets the money did not reach the place the Pats went (Twitter link).

New England is giving Smith-Schuster a three-year, $33MM deal, Jeremy Fowler of tweets. Guarantees are not yet known, but ESPN’s Adam Schefter adds JuJu will collect $22.5MM through 2024 (Twitter link). After settling for one-year deals in 2021 (with Pittsburgh) and ’22 (with Kansas City), Smith-Schuster finally scores a multiyear commitment.

Used mostly in the slot with the Steelers, Smith-Schuster shuffled across formations with the Chiefs and produced a rebound season upon teaming with Patrick Mahomes. The 26-year-old target caught 78 passes for 933 yards and three touchdowns. The 933 yards marked Smith-Schuster’s most since his 2018 Pro Bowl season in Pittsburgh. He finished with the fifth-most YAC over expected (plus-141), per Next Gen Stats, in 2022.

Smith-Schuster’s AAV matches the money the Raiders and Jets gave to Meyers and Allen Lazard, respectively, and this represents another medium-term accord the Pats are giving out to bolster the position. They handed Nelson Agholor a two-year, $22MM contract in 2021. The former first-rounder did not live up to it, and he is unlikely to return in 2023. It is interesting the Pats passed on Meyers to pay an outside hire similar cash — something Meyers has since noticed (Twitter link) — but Smith-Schuster has shown a slightly higher ceiling. These two are also the same age, despite Meyers entering the league two years later. The Patriots did not offer Meyers the kind of guarantees the Raiders did, Giardi adds. Meyers signed for $22MM guaranteed in total and $16.5MM fully guaranteed.

Although Smith-Schuster’s 1,400-yard season during Antonio Brown‘s Steelers swansong still looks like an outlier, he showed plenty in Kansas City last season. The Chiefs signed Smith-Schuster, a free agent target for two years, to an incentive-laden deal — initially a $3.8MM pact — and the USC alum ended up adding millions to his 2022 earnings by hitting a few of those benchmarks. Kansas City obviously features a favorable setup, with Reid calling the shots in a Mahomes-piloted attack, but Smith-Schuster became the No. 1 receiver for a team that managed to win the Super Bowl after trading Tyreek Hill. It will be interesting to see who the Chiefs target to fill Smith-Schuster’s role. While the team is keen on expanding Kadarius Toney‘s responsibilities, the talented ex-Giant’s rampant injury trouble could interfere.

Mecole Hardman remains unsigned, and while the Chiefs were planning to let the speedster walk, perhaps the Smith-Schuster defection changes their thinking. Kansas City will be an attractive setup for wide receivers, and Odell Beckham Jr. remains available. OBJ would undoubtedly need to set a new price point, as his reported $20MM-per-year ask is out of step with his value. But the Chiefs were connected to OBJ in 2021 and ’22.

As for the Patriots, Smith-Schuster will join a team in transition at receiver. Kendrick Bourne enjoyed a solid season in 2021 but fell into the doghouse last season. The Pats used a second-round pick on Tyquan Thornton, but an injury halted his rookie-year development. DeVante Parker remains under contract, as does Bourne, but Smith-Schuster is now positioned to be the No. 1 receiver in Bill O’Brien‘s offense.

The team has also looked into Jerry Jeudy, per Denver7’s Troy Renck (on Twitter), and DeAndre Hopkins. It is unclear how serious it is to making more upgrades after landing JuJu. The Pats are not currently pursuing Hopkins, Albert Breer of tweets.

Giants Rumors: Lawrence, Edwards, WRs, Love

The Giants have been eyeing an extension for star defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence for a while now and, following a breakout season, the team has made it a priority. New York started preliminary conversations with Lawrence about two weeks ago, but Jonathan Jones of NFL on CBS claims he wouldn’t be surprised to see a new deal done “sooner than later.”

Despite the ever-growing markets for every position, the league’s market for defensive tackles has never been near the contract of generational talent Aaron Donald. It appears that this will continue to be the case as we see the defensive tackle market reestablished this offseason. Washington has already made Daron Payne the new second-highest paid defensive tackle in the NFL behind Donald with a four-year, $90MM contract. Payne’s average annual value of $22.5MM is still well short of Donald’s $31.67MM per year.

It will be interesting to see where the Giants go from Payne’s deal. Payne established himself as a premier pass-rushing defensive tackle in the league this season but struggled in run defense. Lawrence didn’t have the pass rush production that Payne did but still excelled in the area while also being strong against the run.

Lawrence graded out as the second-best defensive tackle in the league this year, according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required). It would make perfect sense for the Giants to reward Lawrence with a contract that surpasses that of Payne’s new deal, but will Lawrence be able to come anywhere close to the heights reached by Donald?

Here are a few more rumors surrounding the Giants’ priorities at the start of the new league year:

  • Starting the offseason with 21 unrestricted free agents, New York had a laundry list of names and positions to take care of. One of those positions that has been getting some chatter is inside linebacker. Specifically, the Giants have continuously been connected to Eagles pending free agent linebacker T.J. Edwards, according to Ryan Dunleavy of the New York Post. The four-year Philadelphia defender has had two increasingly impressive breakout seasons, recording career-highs last year in total tackles (159), tackles for loss (10), sacks (2.0), quarterback hits (5), and passes defensed (7). Aside from Edwards, the top name expected to be available at the position is Tremaine Edmunds from Buffalo. Other names of interest for the G-Men include the Commanders’ Cole Holcomb, the Bengals’ Germaine Pratt, the Cowboys’ Leighton Vander Esch, the Lions’ Alex Anzalone, and the Chargers’ Drue Tranquill.
  • The wide receivers position has been an obvious need on the Giants’ roster for some time now, but it doesn’t appear that the Giants intend to address that through free agency, according to Pat Leonard of New York Daily News. With their focuses in free agency and the draft reportedly on inside linebackers, defensive linemen, cornerbacks, and interior offensive linemen, thoughts are that the trade market may make more sense for New York. If the Bills aren’t able to reach an extension agreement with Gabriel Davis, the Giants could be strong contenders to acquire his talents. The Rams have granted receiver Allen Robinson permission to seek a trade. Cardinals star receiver DeAndre Hopkins appears to be available for a price, as well. There are other names that could be interesting additions to the trade market such as Cincinnati wideout Tyler Boyd or Denver’s Jerry Jeudy. The team might still make free agency moves for veterans like Cole Beasley or Odell Beckham Jr., but the trade market could be a more attractive way to bring in established talent to New York.
  • There is reportedly optimism that the Giants will be able to come to an agreement to re-sign pending free agent safety Julian Love. After two seasons of relatively down play, Love had a bounce-back, breakout season in a contract year. He led the team in tackles by a mile with 124 total and tacked on two interceptions for good measure. Love may not be expected to make top money at the position, but after playing out his rookie contract, it appears Love is on the right track to remaining in New York long-term.

Cardinals Have DeAndre Hopkins Trade Parameters In Place?

This year’s wide receiver free agent class has not generated much buzz, and the Bengals and Chargers have respectively indicated Tee Higgins and Keenan Allen are not available. This stands to elevate the markets for the receivers teams do put on the trade block. This will affect the Cardinals.

Arizona may be far down the road on a Hopkins trade. The Cards have the parameters of a trade in place, according to veteran NFL reporter Mike Jurecki (on Twitter). The Cards should be expected to receive a second-round pick and either a conditional draft choice in an unspecified round or an additional player, Jurecki adds.

Hopkins, 30, has been rumored to be on the move for a bit now. The Cardinals have gone through with a staff overhaul, hiring a new GM (Monti Ossenfort) and head coach (Jonathan Gannon). Ossenfort has spoken with Hopkins, and trade interest has begun to re-emerge. The Cards have fielded calls on their top wideout. Gannon stopped short of guaranteeing Hopkins would be a Cardinal in 2023. Hopkins and Brandin Cooks are viewed as the top trade pieces at the receiver position for the time being, but last year illustrated the market can certainly change.

The six-game PED suspension Hopkins incurred last year voided the no-trade clause in his Cardinals extension. Two years remain on that contract, which was agreed to shortly after the Cards acquired Hopkins from the Texans in 2020. Although the Cards rebuffed inquiries about Hopkins’ availability ahead of the 2022 trade deadline, the 10-year veteran’s name has been on the block since January.

A team that acquires Hopkins may well need to complete another contract. He is set to earn $19.45MM in base salary. While the former All-Pro’s current cap number ($30.75MM) would not transfer over to his next team in its entirety, the base salary would be the acquiring team’s responsibility. Tyreek Hill, Davante Adams and A.J. Brown agreed to new deals upon being traded last year, and the Browns restructured Amari Cooper‘s contract not long after landing him.

Hopkins ripped off three straight first-team All-Pro seasons in the late 2010s. Despite the most recent one coming in 2019, the Texans traded him to the Cards in March 2020 — in a widely panned deal that did not send Houston a first-round pick. It would, then, be interesting if the Cardinals managed to fetch a second for Hopkins given the downward trend of the past two seasons. Hopkins suffered multiple injuries that ended his 2021 campaign early, and after the PED ban sidetracked his 2022 slate, the former first-rounder suffered a minor injury that shut him down near the end of Arizona’s dreadful campaign.

But a wideout market topped by the likes of Jakobi Meyers and JuJu Smith-Schuster, along with Odell Beckham Jr. coming off a missed season, should create opportunities for the Cardinals and Texans regarding Hopkins and Cooks. Although Hopkins only played in nine games last season, his 79.2-yard per-game average far outpaced his 2021 number. He posted a 1,407-yard season in 2020, when he played 16 games.

Hopkins’ stock has dropped, but it is not hard to imagine a receiver-needy team betting on him to bounce back. The move would help a Cardinals squad that looks to be begrudgingly, after extending both Kliff Kingsbury and Steve Keim a year ago, committing to a rebuild.

Latest On Cardinals, DeAndre Hopkins

MARCH 4: In an update which comes as little surprise, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport notes that teams have been calling the Cardinals to gauge the availability of Hopkins (video link). He adds that no decision has been made by Ossenfort and the Arizona front office as of yet, but the situation could change in the days leading up to free agency.

MARCH 3: The Cardinals have a new coaching staff, general manager and the potential to add a franchise player in the draft with the third overall pick. One of their top storylines for the offseason concerns an in-house player, however.

Wideout DeAndre Hopkins has become the subject of trade speculation recently, especially after it was learned that his no-trade clause is no longer in effect. That clause was voided as a result of the six-game PED suspension Hopkins served at the start of the 2022 campaign, one which again saw his game action limited. The 30-year-old does not have any guaranteed money remaining on his deal.

That could make him a trade candidate, especially if the Cardinals look to rebuild in the coming years under head coach Jonathan Gannon and GM Monti Ossenfort. Hopkins showed that he is still productive when healthy, posting 717 yards and three touchdowns in only nine games in 2022. However, a trade would result in $8.1MM in cap savings this season, and just under $15MM in 2024.

“I had a great talk with D-Hop a couple weeks ago,” Ossenfort said, via team reporter Darren Urban“I explained to him what my philosophy was. It was a great conversation. D-Hop has been a great player in this league for a long time. I’m excited to work with him. I think any roster decisions like that, we are in the very early stages right now.”

The three-time All Pro has played three seasons in Arizona, the first of which was the only one in which he was available for a full campaign. Hopkins earned a Pro Bowl nod in 2020 after recording his sixth career 1,000-plus yard season, but has been limited to 106 catches, 1,289 yards and 11 scores since then. Those numbers are certainly noteworthy, but they still fall short of expectations given the substantial extension he signed upon being traded from Houston. His deal carries cap hits of $30.75MM and $26.2MM in the next two years.

Between that financial burden, along with Hopkins’ missed games, trade value could be relatively underwhelming from the Cardinals’ perspective. Veteran reporter Mike Jurecki predicts (via Twitter) that Arizona would not be able to land a first-round pick in a deal, with a second-rounder coupled with a Day 3 selection being more likely. Part of the reason an acquiring team could wind up spending a top selection, on the other hand, is the underwhelming nature of this year’s free agent class at the position, and the relative lack of impact wideouts in the 2023 draft class compared to recent years.

Ossenfort’s remarks demonstrate that no decision has been made with respect to keeping or moving on from Hopkins. The Cardinals currently have just under $14MM in cap space, but the team faces a number of challenges in improving a roster which went 4-13 last season. Hopkins’ future will no doubt have an impact on their offseason either way.

Cowboys Aim To Add Another Weapon; Team Eyeing Extensions For CeeDee Lamb, Trevon Diggs

The Cowboys have Michael Gallup entering the second year of his five-year extension, and the team’s No. 2 wide receiver is now more than a year removed from his ACL tear. The team is also expected to use the franchise tag to keep Tony Pollard off the market. But it is eyeing an addition to its skill-position corps as well.

Dallas will pursue a “dynamic weapon” this offseason, Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News notes. This will naturally reconnect the Cowboys to Odell Beckham Jr., but Gehlken cautions nothing is imminent there. The addition could also come in the draft.

It also might come at tight end, as Dalton Schultz is likely to leave in free agency. Headlined by Notre Dame’s Michael Mayer and Utah’s Dalton Kincaid, this tight class is viewed as the best in many years. Both those options could well be gone by the time the Cowboys’ No. 26 overall pick arrives. This draft’s receiver class is not viewed as highly, at least compared to the past few, and Stephen Jones‘ comments of the team readying to use the franchise tag almost certainly point to Pollard being the recipient. It would cost just $10.1MM for the Cowboys to keep Pollard. It would be the sixth straight year in which Dallas has used the tag.

As far as veteran receivers go, Beckham headlines a free agency crop not viewed glowingly. It would be interesting to see the Cowboys pay Gallup, tag Pollard and spend on another wide receiver. The team also has designs on extending CeeDee Lamb, with Jones indicating (via the Dallas Morning News’ Calvin Watkins) both he and Trevon Diggs are in the team’s long-term plans.

Lamb’s fifth-year option will be picked up, Gehlken adds, as could be expected given his status as a cornerstone player for the team. This would lock in Lamb through 2024, with his price rising next year. Without a fifth-year option available regarding Diggs, a second-round pick, the Cowboys will soon see their top cornerback enter a contract year.

Beyond Beckham, the market stands to include JuJu Smith-Schuster, Jakobi Meyers, DJ Chark and Allen Lazard. Michael Thomas also looks to be available, but the former Saints All-Pro has missed much of the past three seasons. At close to his best, Beckham would qualify as a dynamic weapon. He showed that during the Rams’ 2021 Super Bowl run, one that included an explosive Beckham Super Bowl LVI start before his ACL tear. Beckham did not play last season, healing the second of his two ACL tears sustained during the 2020s, and will turn 31 during the 2023 slate. The Cowboys, Rams and Giants are expected to resume their pursuits of the eight-year veteran, and while Dallas was viewed as the favorite during the late-season sweepstakes, this will be one of the harder price projections to make in recent free agency history.

The Cowboys ended up selling low on Amari Cooper, collecting late-round picks from the Browns for their former No. 1 receiver, and Gallup did not show his previous form after returning from the December 2021 ACL tear. Third-round pick Jalen Tolbert did not acclimate as quickly as the team hoped, Gehlken adds. The South Alabama alum did not see much action last season, and the Cowboys cut James Washington not long after he recovered from his summer foot fracture. Lamb, Gallup and Tolbert are the top receivers under contract; six-year Cowboy Noah Brown is also a free agent. Gallup also underwent arthroscopic knee surgery a few weeks ago but is expected to be ready for OTAs.

Cowboys target Brandin Cooks is again available via trade, though the Texans’ new price point remains to be seen, but Gehlken adds the team is not close on trading for a pass catcher. DeAndre Hopkins joins Cooks in being on the trade block. Jonathan Gannon stopped short of guaranteeing Hopkins will be a Cardinal in 2023, Darren Urban of notes, and the former All-Pro’s 2022 PED suspension voided his no-trade clause.

Dallas’ recent big skill-position swings have moved the needle significantly. Cooper made two Pro Bowls as a Cowboy and reeled off three 1,000-yard seasons, while Lamb — chosen after Henry Ruggs and Jerry Jeudy but before Justin Jefferson — broke through for a career-high 1,359 yards and nine touchdown catches in 2022. It appears a serious effort to complement Lamb and Pollard will commence soon.