According to the team’s announcement on Friday, the Arizona Cardinals have released wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins after three years. Since the conclusion of the 2022 season, Hopkins’ future with the Cardinals had been in doubt due to his team-high cap hit of $30.75 million, which led all wide receivers in the NFL and was sixth highest overall. Hopkins’ contract was set to expire after the 2023 season.
Cardinals Let Go of DeAndre Hopkins?
After DeAndre Hopkins scored his historic “Hail Murray” touchdown against the Bills in 2020, he headed to the postgame Zoom interview session to deliver his most memorable phrase in Arizona. “Hail Murray” was the name of the play in which Hopkins hauled in the touchdown.
According to him, the Bills had completely enclosed him. “It was just a better catch by him,” Hopkins said.
While playing with the Cardinals, there were many occasions in which the wide receiver made the more impressive grab. Moving on from the soon-to-be 31-year-old player made sense given the circumstances, which included the club remaking its roster under the leadership of a new general manager and coach, and Hopkins carrying a $30 million salary cap charge despite missing 15 of the most recent 26 games due to suspension or injury.
WR DeAndre Hopkins highlight-reel for Arizona
Hopkins was finally let go by the Cardinals on Friday, after weeks of rumors and the team’s inability to locate a suitable trade partner.
The Cardinals will be responsible for a dead cap hit of $22.6 million in 2023, but beyond that year, they will no longer have to account for him in their payroll calculations.
Hopkins never publicly said that he wanted to leave, but he also never stated that he wanted to remain, and he had been ready to speak about other teams or other quarterbacks with whom he was attracted to play several times in national interviews. Hopkins never indicated that he wanted to leave the team.
A question on what Hopkins is searching for in a team was posed to him earlier this week.
During an interview on a podcast that was released this week, Hopkins discussed the problem and said that he valued stability more than financial gain. Arizona, which just had a new government, has not exactly been stable, and neither has Houston, Hopkins’s previous home city.
Hopkins said, “What He wants is stable management upstairs; that’s something He hasn’t really had the past couple years of his career coming from Houston and then to Arizona.” “A quarterback who is passionate about the game, a quarterback who can get not only himself but also everyone else around him excited about the game, and a strong defensive unit.” Championships are won by teams with strong defensive units.
Hopkins turned up a stellar performance during his first year with the team after being acquired in 2020 along with a fourth-round selection in exchange for a second-round pick, running back David Johnson, and a future fourth-round pick. He was named to the second team of All-Pro after setting a new club record with 115 receptions, 1,407 receiving yards, and six touchdowns.
In his second season, he had injuries to his hamstring and subsequently, his knee, which caused him to miss seven games. Despite this, he still managed to score eight touchdowns in 10 games on 42 receptions for 572 yards. After testing positive for performance-enhancing substances, he was given a suspension for the first six games of the 2022 season, which caused his third season to get off to a rocky start before it ever began.
After missing two games due to knee issues, Hopkins fared well in the nine games that followed his return, catching 64 passes for 717 yards and three touchdowns. However, his stats took a hit when the Cardinals lost their starting quarterback.
In his first eight seasons, Hopkins had only been sidelined for a total of two games.
The departure of Hopkins has resulted in Hollywood Brown being elevated to the position of the Cardinals’ top wide receiver. Following Brown on the depth chart are Rondale Moore, Zach Pascal, Greg Dortch, and third-round draft selection Michael Wilson.
There are a lot of clubs that will surely be interested in Hopkins. As long as the five-time Pro Bowler finds the appropriate fit with his new squad, the hope is that the five-time Pro Bowler will still be able to contribute at an elite level despite being 31 years old.
Hopkins will immediately begin looking for other opportunities after being released by the Cardinals, who are currently in the process of rebuilding their roster.