Where Will DeAndre Hopkins Land in Potential Trade?

23 May, 2023

This offseason, the Arizona Cardinals are in the initial stages of a rebuild. After finishing 4-13, they fired head coach Kliff Kingsbury and general manager Steve Keim, and they hired Jonathan Gannon, a former defensive coordinator for the Philadelphia Eagles, and Monti Ossenfort, a former director of player personnel for the Tennessee Titans, in their place.

In the event that the Cardinals don’t pay safety and top defensive leader Budda Baker the highest-paid player at his position, Baker is requesting a trade. DeAndre Hopkins, an All-Pro wide receiver who was supposedly allowed to request trades and who was reportedly close to being dealt during the 2023 NFL Draft, appeared on the “I AM ATHLETE” podcast on Monday and outlined some qualities he’s looking for wherever he goes next. The qualities were consistent with those of NFL clubs that are in contention, not with the Cardinals.

See DeAndre Hopkins Current Contract

Hopkins stated, “Stable management upstairs is what I want.” “I believe that’s something I haven’t really had in my career lately, moving from Houston to Arizona. In my career, I’ve had three or four different general managers, so it’s a stable management. A quarterback who is passionate about the game, one who rallies everyone to his cause, and one who pushes not only himself but also those around him. also a strong defense. The winning defense is the defense.

Despite his absence from voluntary scheduled team workouts, his new head coach succinctly stated on Monday that he “isn’t worried about Hop”.

Hopkins reaffirmed his confidence in Kyler Murray, stating the 25-year-old does enjoy the game, despite the receiver’s requests appearing to be a harsh criticism of the Cardinals and the quarterback. He said that Arizona is “in good hands” under Ossenfort’s leadership, but he wasn’t happy about the prospect of Murray missing a substantial portion of the 2023 season while recovering from an ACL injury. Colt McCoy, a journeyman, will be the next man up in Arizona when he turns 37 on September 5. Hopkins stated that while he loves McCoy, the quarterback Hopkins is expecting to play with in 2023 is not exactly McCoy’s caliber.

When asked about the Cardinals’ quarterback position heading into the season, Hopkins said, “[I] currently [don’t] have a Pro Bowl quarterback or a quarterback who I would say could.”

Hopkins, who led Arizona in receiving yards with 717 despite playing in just nine games last season, continues to be one of the NFL’s most effective pass catchers when healthy. The 30-year-old Pro Bowler, though, has missed a total of 15 games since 2021 and will be paid $30.8 million in 2023, the most of any receiver aside from Tyreek Hill of the Dolphins. When asked who he would like to receive passes from moving ahead as he enters the second part of his career, Hopkins identified some of the NFL’s top young quarterbacks in order to maintain a high level of performance into his 30s.

Josh Allen of the Buffalo Bills is one of Hopkins’ favorite quarterbacks, and he has been one of his favorites to watch since he entered the game. “He strikes me as a more modern Andrew Luck. Josh Allen is wonderful. Jalen Hurts, the quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles, is a Houston native and a dog. I would also love for [Kansas City Chiefs quarterback] Patrick Mahomes to pass the ball to me. I’m going to [also] have to pick my boy with the Chargers, Justin Herbert, even though Lamar Jackson, the quarterback for the Baltimore Ravens, is the underdog because fewer people regard him as a thrower.

It’s probable that Hopkins’s contract will be changed as part of any potential deal. However, it makes sense that Arizona would be inclined to move him given that they gave up a first-round draft pick in 2022 to acquire Marquise Brown, a fellow wide receiver who is about to reach the final year of his rookie contract. Considering Hopkins’ no-trade clause, which allows him some control over his future destination, and teams that might have the draft money to make the move for him, here are several likely landing spots:

7. Ravens

By signing Odell Beckham Jr. and selecting Boston College wide receiver Zay Flowers with the 22nd overall pick in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft, the Ravens remedied their receiver shortage this summer. However, they are rich with draft capital and have some cap space ($11.8 million in 2023). Hopkins must be added if Jackson is to achieve his target of 6,000 passing yards in 2023. There is even a tenuous personal connection: Hopkins’ breakout 1,500-yard season in 2015-2016, when tight ends coach George Godsey was the Texans’ offensive coordinator, earned Hopkins a spot in the Pro Bowl. Baltimore could offer Jackson one of the league’s best pass-catching arsenals in 2023 if Hopkins agreed to a modified contract.

6. Browns

The Browns, who sold the farm for Deshaun Watson, the quarterback Hopkins rose to fame with in the 2010s, aren’t exactly flush with cap space (projected at $7.0M), and they’re also low on 2024 NFL Draft picks. Although they have lots of selections in 2025 and a definite need for deeper depth behind Amari Cooper, head coach Kevin Stefanski’s time to expand the passing offense with Watson may be running out. In a make-or-break season for the present administration, this transaction would enable the Browns to become far more formidable opponents in a crowded AFC.

5. Eagles team logos

Hopkins is a logical fit for the defending NFC Champions, who have Jalen Hurts, his second-favorite quarterback, and a top-five defense. They also have Howie Roseman, who is perhaps the best general manager in the league. After A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith, Hopkins would be the most overqualified WR3 in the league, and the Eagles could give him whatever he wants. Roseman is unafraid to take risky moves if he believes they would benefit the team.

4. 49ers

With second-year quarterback Brock Purdy, third-year quarterback Trey Lance, or rookie journeyman Sam Darnold, the San Francisco 49ers lack the quarterback profile Hopkins is seeking. But with Christian McCaffrey at running back, Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk at wide receiver, George Kittle at tight end, Trent Williams at left tackle, and head coach Kyle Shanahan calling plays, they have probably the NFL’s most stacked offensive ecology. The 2022 NFL Defensive Player of the Year Nick Bosa, who led the NFL with 18.5 sacks, leads the 49ers’ top scoring defense from the previous season (averaged 16.3 points per game allowed). Hopkins would have plenty of freedom to move in San Francisco’s offensive approach if Purdy was healthy.

3. Jets

Aaron Rodgers isn’t a young quarterback, but he has the pedigree Hopkins is looking for in his next quarterback because he was the Super Bowl MVP and a four-time NFL MVP. With Garrett Wilson, the 2022 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, also on the roster, Hopkins wouldn’t have to be the No. 1 option for the New York Jets, who also have a top-five defense. Rodgers will turn 40 in December, so Gang Green is in win-now mentality. Hopkins would value that perspective.

2. Cowboys

With the 2022 second team, they don’t necessary need another expensive target. All-Pro CeeDee Lamb is their featured player, but after toying with Odell Beckham Jr., they traded a couple late-round picks to the Houston Texans for Brandin Cooks. Michael Gallup as the No. 3 would be relieved of some of the load by the addition of a third route-winner like Hopkins, and when has Jerry Jones not enjoyed making a statement? The main obstacle would be the finances, but Dallas has the opportunity now since several players will soon be approaching the final year of their rookie contracts.

1. Bills

The Buffalo Bills are currently prepared to compete for Super Bowls. Over the past three regular seasons, they have been among the NFL’s most dominant teams, leading the league in both points scored per game (29.4) and points surrendered per game (19.4). After Stefon Diggs and Gabe Davis, they could use another receiver because their current strategy is to employ rookie tight Dalton Kincaid as their slot receiver. Buffalo also owns 10 draft picks for the 2024 NFL Draft, including three additional sixth-round picks and all of their own. Josh Allen, Hopkins’ preferred candidate for the QB position, is also used by the Bills. Buffalo makes the most sense if Hopkins is prepared to accept a modified contract to fit within the salary cap.


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