What’s the Cardinals Asking Price for DeAndre Hopkins and Who’s Interested?
With Denver Broncos head coach Sean Payton saying that the Broncos are not trading wide receivers Jerry Jeudy and Courtland Sutton, the demand for DeAndre Hopkins should increase around the NFL.
Aaron Wilson reported last week that the Buffalo Bills are among the teams interested in Hopkins. Wilson pointed out that the Baltimore Ravens are not among the interested teams. However, the Chiefs are, but Hopkins’ financial expectations will determine just how interested they are.
Hopkins is owed $33 million over the final two years of his current contract but has no remaining guaranteed money. Hence the desire for a new contract, and in turn, Arizona’s desire to trade Hopkins.
The 30-year-old receiver will turn 31 this season but has still been highly productive when on the field.
Hopkins caught 64 passes for 717 yards and three touchdowns in limited action last season. He is owed $19,450,000 and $14,915,000 in 2023 and 2024 under his current deal. Arizona would take on $22.6 million in dead money and create $8.15 million in cap space by trading him this offseason.
What’s the ask for Hopkins?
With Jeudy and Sutton off the board and the wide receiver market bare, Hopkins becomes the No. 1 available wide receiver outside of the NFL Draft. However, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler believes that the Cardinals must come down from their current asking price for a deal to get done. According to Fowler, the Cardinals are asking for a Christian McCaffrey-like package for Hopkins.
“They do expect something to shake out with a Hopkins trade in Arizona in the near future. However, Arizona would have to come off of their asking price. I’ve talked to teams who say the Cardinals wanted a second-round pick and more. Almost like a Christian McCaffrey package that we saw last season … something big like that … So teams aren’t willing to do that yet.”
The 49ers sent 2023 second-round, third-round, and fourth-round picks and 2024 fifth-round pick to the Carolina Panthers for McCaffrey in October.
That’s not a realistic package for a soon-to-be 31-year-old wide receiver. So, Fowler is likely correct in his belief that the Cardinals need to come down on their ask for Hopkins. But, considering the lack of proven wide receivers available, it’s not unrealistic to think that the Cardinals could get a third and fourth-round pick back for Hopkins. They could even get third-rounders in consecutive years.
Regarding interested teams, the Bills are named by Wilson, and they make sense. Buffalo could use another go-to target behind Stefon Diggs for Josh Allen. Buffalo has Gabe Davis, and Khalil Shakir listed behind Diggs on their depth chart. Davis has been wildly inconsistent and is better suited as a WR3.
Baltimore seemed like an obvious fit with a new OC in town and Lamar Jackson needing another downfield threat. However, the uncertainty around Jackson’s future in Baltimore has muddied the waters on that front. The Patriots were an interested team in recent weeks, but the signing of JuJu Smith-Schuster probably takes them out of the conversation for Hopkins.
The Bears, Cowboys, and Giants have addressed their wide receiver needs in trades and signings elsewhere, so cross them off the list. Outside of Buffalo and Atlanta, I’m having trouble seeing where there would be significant interest in Hopkins. Especially at a premium cost.
Hopkins may be the best available wide receiver on the trade market, but the Cardinals are working with a thin market of teams in need. Arizona’s asking price will have to come down significantly if they hope to get a deal done.
Would the Cardinals cut Hopkins?
Which brings me to my next question: would the Cardinals cut Hopkins if they can’t work out a trade? According to OTC, a post-June 1 cut would free up nearly $20 million in cap space for the Cardinals. The move would leave Arizona with $42,403,641 in cap space, which would be among the most in the NFL.
Arizona isn’t competing for an NFC West title with Kyler Murray sidelined for the first half of the season. So, why not move on and free up the $20 million in cap space? I can’t see Arizona having significantly more success moving Hopkins ahead of next season’s trade deadline. Why not pull the trigger now and allow the veteran wide receiver to negotiate freely with another team?
With a new GM and head coach in Arizona, there’s no track record to infer anything from, so we’ll have to wait and see.