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The Arizona Cardinals release DeAndre Hopkins: Where is the WR going?

In a move that has sent shockwaves around the league, the Arizona Cardinals have cut ties with their star wide receiver after failing to find a trade partner for him.

Futuro de DeAndre Hopkins con los Arizona Cardinals será evaluado en las próximas semanas
Cooper NeillGetty Images

With the prolific wide out now in the free agency market, it will be interesting to see where he ends up. Rest assured, whatever team he ends up playing for will be receiving one of the best pass catchers in the game today.

Arizona Cardinals release DeAndre Hopkins

According to reports on Friday, the Arizona Cardinals released wide receiver, DeAndre Hopkins. What that means is that Hopkins is now free to sign with any team that he wants. With that said, it’s important to note that Hopkins has a cap number of $29,988,890 in 2023 and $25,453,886 in 2024, which represent the final two years of an extension he signed when he was traded to the Cardinals back in 2020. In keeping with that, Arizona will consume some $21,077,776 in dead cap space with Hopkins’ release, saving $8,911,114 in cap space in the process.

If you didn’t know, Hopkins has the eighth-most receiving yards through a player’s first 10 seasons in NFL history with 11.298 and also the fourth-most receptions after a player’s first 10 seasons with 853. On average, Hopkins has registered 7.1 catches per game - fourth in NFL - and 79.7 receiving yards per game which is 10th in NFL, although he only managed to play just nine games last season. Across his 10 seasons in the league, he has been named to the first team All-Pro on three occasions, while being selected for the Pro Bowl five times.

So Where is DeAndre Hopkins going to play next?

Understandably, there’s been no official word as to where Hopkins will play next, however, he did reveal a list of teams and quarterbacks with whom he would like to play. Let us be the first to tell you, that it makes for some interesting reading. With regards to quarterbacks, first up was Patrick Mahomes who in turn was followed by the Ravens’ Lamar Jackson, the Bills’ Josh Alen, the Eagles’ Jalen Hurts and last but not least, Justin Herbert of the Los Angeles Chargers.

“What I want is stable management upstairs,” Hopkins said while speaking on the I AM ATHLETE podcast earlier this week. “I think that’s something I haven’t really had the past couple years of my career coming from Houston and then to Arizona. I’ve been through three or four GMs in my career, so a stable management. A QB who loves the game, a QB who brings everybody on board with him and pushes not just himself but everybody around him. And a great defense. A great defense wins championships.”

Does DeAndre Hopkins still have it?

It would be safe to say that the past two seasons have been less than stellar for the wide out. In 2021, he was limited to just 10 games as a result of a number of leg injuries. In 2022, he missed the first six games of the campaign as a result of the NFL’s performance-enhancing drug policy.

He was limited to 10 games in 2021 due to various leg injuries and missed the first six games of the 2022 NFL season under the NFL’s performance-enhancing drug policy. Over those two seasons, Hopkins caught 106 passes for 1,289 yards and 11 touchdowns in 19 games, which to be fair, is not bad. Indeed, when he’s fit Hopkins is still very much capable of producing impressive numbers. Yet, it would be naive to ignore his age and recent suspension. To be clear, Hopkins was set for a $19.4 million payday in 2023, followed by one of $14.9 million in 2024. Given what we mentioned before about the dead cap space, Hopkins will now be owed nothing. Ultimately, we’re talking about a WR who not long ago was being touted as the best in the league. While it’s unlikely we will see that level of play from Hopkins again, it would be silly to believe that he isn’t capable more than impressive performances once again. From his route running, to his ability to catch passes when contested and of course his Velcro like hands, the free market just got a big one. As always, watch this space.