Cardinals Owner on Payton Compensation, Hopkins Trade, More

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Extra Points: Cardinals Owner on Sean Payton Compensation, Hopkins Trade Considerations, More


I moved this week’s Extra Points column to Saturday because I wanted to have some coverage while I spent the day at the indoor water park with my family for my daughter’s birthday. So, apologies for the delay this week. This week’s column is going to be an all-Arizona Cardinals column. We’re going to discuss a few items of note in the desert this week:

  • Michael Bidwill: Sean Payton compensation was too much for the Cardinals.
  • DeAndre Hopkins trade considerations.
  • New head coach Jonathan Gannon on QB Kyler Murray.

Have an opinion on these topics? Drop into the comments section and let me know what you think about this week’s subjects.

Saints Asking Price for Sean Payton too Much for Cardinals

The Arizona Cardinals were the last team to hire a head coach this year. So sure, getting Jonathan Gannon from the NFC champs seems like a good ending to the Cardinals’ coaching search. It might end up being the best move for Arizona.

However, the Cardinals were engaged in discussions with Broncos head coach Sean Payton for their HC vacancy. So, what exactly kept the Cardinals from seriously considering Payton? According to owner Michael Bidwill, the compensation that the Saints were asking for was too much.

In an appearance on Arizona Sports 98.7 on Thursday, Bidwill said that the price to do business was too rich for their taste:

“We spent a lot of time. The issues around coach Payton had nothing to do with the money, the compensation we would be paying him,” Bidwill said. “It was all the compensation, the draft compensation to the Saints. We just weren’t willing to go with what the Saints wanted us to give up. It would have been too costly to the team for us to rebuild that roster. It was really a series of tradeoffs. I still felt like we got great coaches out there that can get this team turned around. I think we were right when you look at JG.”

So, the Cardinals were indeed interested in Payton. But, the draft picks that New Orleans was asking for would have hamstrung the Cardinals’ roster-building efforts. That, according to the man who knows better than anyone.

Even if you don’t agree with the decision or the process, the honesty from Bidwill on the matter is impressive.

DeAndre Hopkins Trade Considerations

While we’re at it, the topic of DeAndre Hopkins will need to be addressed in Arizona. Before the Cardinals hired a GM or head coach, reports surfaced that Bidwill and the Cardinals would look to trade Hopkins this offseason.

Schultz’s report indicated that Hopkins would seek a new contract extension this offseason, which is likely why the Cardinals will look to move on from the 30-year-old receiver, who is owed $34.36 million over two years on his current deal.

A Hopkins trade makes a lot of sense for everyone involved. Arizona has a new GM and head coach. They’ll want to add some more draft capital. For Hopkins, he’s looking for new guaranteed money, which he’s unlikely to get from Arizona. So a fresh start for both sides seems like something everyone can benefit from.

Where Hopkins will land seems to be the better question at this point.

Baltimore jumps out at me as a potential landing spot for Hopkins. The Ravens need a bona fide No. 1 for Lamar Jackson. Moving on from Greg Roman was a sign that Baltimore wanted to get vertical. The Ravens’ wide receiver room is thin; Hopkins could help.

If Aaron Rodgers stays in Green Bay, a veteran of Hopkins’ caliber would be an excellent addition to the young Packers duo of Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs. Plus, QBs coach Tom Clements was the Cardinals’ passing game coordinator in 2020, when Arizona acquired Hopkins and immediately got a 1,400-yard season from the All-Pro.

Dallas, Cleveland, and Chicago are other teams in the market for a No. 1 wide receiver this offseason.

Jonathan Gannon on Kyler Murray

Kyler Murray was all the buzz fuss leading up to the Cardinals eventual hire of Jonathan Gannon. Reports said that Murray, his massive contract, and his recovery from an ACL injury scared potential coaching candidates away.

Not surprisingly, Jonathan Gannon praised Murray last week after taking the job. What did you expect? Gannon said game planning for Murray last season as the Eagles DC was difficult. He called Murray “a problem to defend.”

Gannon went as far as to say that if Murray wasn’t in Arizona, he wouldn’t be either:

“If Kyler Murray isn’t here, I don’t take this job. I think this offense will look much different. This guy does things that it completely handcuffs you how you play defense – at times. I think we can take him to another level and unleash his full skill set.

I don’t buy that, but it’s not as if he’s going to say, “well, this is a great opportunity, except for that Murray dude.”

We’ll see how he feels next season.

Author: Patrick K. Flowers

Patrick is the Lead NFL Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @PatrickKFlowers.