Report: Trade Talks for Cardinals’ Hopkins Ramping Up

For much of the offseason, there have been rumors the Arizona Cardinals will trade wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins. Those trade talks are “ramping up,” NFL Media reported on Tuesday.

In an interview on the Pat McAfee show earlier this month, Hopkins said he was aware of the trade rumors circling him.

“I’ve been hearing a lot of trade talks, but I take things day for day,” Hopkins told McAfee. “I don’t look forward to the future. I live in the present moment. Right now, the Arizona Cardinals is the team and the roster I’m on, and I’m preparing for whatever the future holds.”

Similarly to Brandin Cooks, who was traded to the Cowboys on Sunday, Hopkins would need to restructure his contract to facilitate a deal. The Cowboys traded a fifth-round pick this season and a sixth-rounder next year for Cooks, which could serve as a template for a Hopkins deal.

Hopkins’ base salary is $19.45 million for 2023, according to Over The Cap, with a salary cap hit of more than $21 million.

Matt Cassel, an analyst for The 33rd Team, believes the New England Patriots make the most sense for Hopkins.

“The Patriots are in a competitive division in the AFC East, and it’s an arms race,” Cassel said. “You saw what the Miami Dolphins did last year when they went out and got Tyreek Hill. The Jets are reportedly going to make a big acquisition in Aaron Rodgers. Then the Bills, who have won the division the last few years, have the team in place. Bringing in a guy like Hopkins gives the Patriots a bonafide weapon on the outside Mac Jones desperately needs.”

Despite being limited to just nine games last season (he was suspended the first six for violating the NFL’s PED policy), Hopkins caught 64 catches for 717 yards and three touchdowns. His 79.7 yards per game was the 10th-highest among all wide receivers in 2022. Hopkins also missed multiple games in 2021 because of a hamstring injury and a torn MCL.

The Cardinals are going through somewhat of a rebuild under new general manager Monti Ossenfort and coach Jonathan Gannon. The team lost J.J. Watt to retirement and young contributors on defense, Byron Murphy and Zach Allen, to free agency. Additionally, quarterback Kyler Murray likely will miss at least half of 2023 recovering from a torn ACL.

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