The Arizona Cardinals are in a period of flux. They will most likely not have star quarterback Kyler Murray for the start of the 2023 season as he rehabs a torn ACL, and the franchise is looking for a new general manager and head coach. Superstar defensive end J.J. Watt has retired. With playoff contention unlikely in '23, the team has reportedly put six-time Pro Bowl receiver DeAndre Hopkins on the trade market, and SportsLine offers odds on where he will land.
Hopkins has a cap number of $30.75 million for 2023 due to a $19.45 million salary and $11.3 million in allocations from past bonus payments. The Cardinals aren't about to take that type of hit and neither will any other club – a trade would certainly involve a restricted contract. Hopkins' contract includes a no-trade clause, so he has veto power over any potential deal.
At one point, the 30-year-old Hopkins (31 in June) was arguably the NFL's best wideout as a five-time All-Pro and Pro Bowler. He's not quite at that level any longer but still an excellent player when healthy, which has been an issue of late. He was limited to 10 games in 2021 and nine this year, although six of those absences were due to suspension. He caught 64 passes for 717 yards and three scores. Over 17 games, that equates to 121 catches, 1,355 yards and 5.6 touchdowns. Those are Pro Bowl numbers.
The Cardinals only have five selections in the 2023 NFL Draft and while they likely won't get a first-round selection for Hopkins, a second-rounder is possible. He likely would prefer to direct a trade to a Super Bowl contender, as Hopkins has never come close to playing in the big game back to his Texans days.
Green Bay missed the playoffs this season as Aaron Rodgers put up career-worst numbers as a starter. Presuming Rodgers doesn't retire, Hopkins could be a reasonable replacement for Davante Adams, whom Rodgers clearly missed this season.
New England also missed the postseason and inconsistent quarterback Mac Jones could use all the receiving help he could get. Jakobi Meyers led the team with 67 catches, 804 yards and six TDs and is set for free agency. Coach Bill Belichick praised Hopkins this season as captured on HBO's Hard Knocks: "What a career you're having. You missed half the season, still going to lead the league in receiving," Belichick told Hopkins in mid-December. "I'm glad we only have to play you every four years." Hopkins responded by saying: "I love you, man."
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones always hunts for stars and reportedly came close to signing Odell Beckham Jr. in free agency. Hopkins is an upgrade on Beckham and isn't coming off a torn ACL. Jones likely will do something drastic if Dallas flames out early in the playoffs again.
Cleveland was yet another disappointing team. Could Hopkins reunite with Deshaun Watson? Currently, the Browns have Amari Cooper, Donovan Peoples-Jones, David Bell, Anthony Schwartz, Michael Woods ll and Jakeem Grant Sr. as receivers under contract for the 2023 season. That's not a great group. Watson didn't look very good in his six games after returning from suspension. In the three years Watson was his QB in Houston, Hopkins totaled 315 catches, 4,115 yards and 31 TDs.
Baltimore traded away its best receiver to Arizona in Marquise Brown at the 2022 draft and never capably replaced him. Tennessee didn't have a wideout with more than 527 receiving yards this season. Any receiver in the league would want to play with a QB like the Chargers' Justin Herbert, Jaguars' Trevor Lawrence or Chiefs' Patrick Mahomes. Chicago might have had the worst receiving group in the NFL but is not going to contend in 2023.
Via SportsLine oddsmakers: Which team will DeAndre Hopkins be playing for Week 1 in 2023?
- Packers +300
- Patriots +350
- Cowboys +400
- Browns +500
- Ravens +700
- Jaguars +1000
- Chargers +1100
- Titans +1200
- Chiefs +1300
- Bears +1500
- Giants +1800
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