Following the surprising release by the Arizona Cardinals, DeAndre Hopkins’ contract demands have come to light, with Hopkins seeking a substantial contract for his return to the NFL.
Cardinals released DeAndre Hopkins. pic.twitter.com/c0f9UaabYA
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) May 26, 2023
Hopkins, who had two years left on his contract with the Cardinals, incurred a $22.6 million dead salary cap hit due to his release. The move to release Hopkins frees up $8.1 million in cap space for the Cardinals.
Why Did the Cardinals Cut Hopkins?
The Cardinals’ decision to part ways with Hopkins comes amidst a period of change within the organization. The wide receiver had reportedly had a “good conversation” with new Cardinals general manager Monti Ossenfort that did not necessarily focus on the future.
Despite the loss of Hopkins, the Cardinals will look to Hollywood Brown as their No.1 option at wide receiver next season, with Rondale Moore, Zach Pascal, and Greg Dortch also expected to see a fair share of targets in their respective roles.
The decision to release Hopkins has raised some eyebrows, particularly given his performance on the field. Over the past three seasons, Hopkins recorded 2,696 receiving yards and 17 touchdowns on 221 catches, despite missing seven games in 2021. Hopkins had been an integral part of the Cardinals’ offense, and his presence on the field often forced defenses to adapt, creating opportunities for his teammates.
Who Is DeAndre Hopkins Going to Sign With?
Following his release, Hopkins has stated his expectations for his next team, emphasizing the importance of stable management and a committed quarterback. During an interview with I AM ATHLETE podcast, Hopkins stated that he wants “a quarterback who loves the game, a quarterback who brings everybody on board with him, not just himself but everybody around him… and a great defense”.
Hopkins’ wish list of quarterbacks (also mentioned on the I AM ATHLETE podcast) he would like to play with includes Josh Allen of the Buffalo Bills, Jalen Hurts of the Philadelphia Eagles, Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs, Lamar Jackson of the Baltimore Ravens, and Justin Herbert of the Los Angeles Chargers.
The future for Hopkins, who had previously been representing himself, now includes the assistance of an agent for contract negotiations. Several teams have been linked to Hopkins amidst trade speculations. Although not on his wish list, one team not to rule out is back where it all started for Hopkins–Houston. Just a few hours ago, he shared a photo on his Instagram story in Houston, TX.
The Next DeAndre Hopkins’ Contract Could Be Breaking NFL News
Before being released, DeAndre Hopkins’ contract was already the 3rd highest in the NFL when you look at average annual value. It will likely take a contract that is equal to or greater than Tyreek Hill and Davante Adams, who are the 1st and 2nd highest paid wide receivers in the league, respectively.
Tyreek Hill signed a 4-year contract worth $120 million with the Miami Dolphins while Davante Adams signed a 5-year contract worth $140 million with the Las Vegas Raiders.
As the NFL’s offseason progresses, Hopkins’ contract demands and team preferences will likely shape the next chapter of his career and quite possibly set the tone for future WR contracts.
With Hopkins out of Arizona, are the Cardinals going to rebuild and get rid of Kyler Murray next?