Cardinals release Hopkins after failing to find trade partner
The Arizona Cardinals released star receiver DeAndre Hopkins after being unable to find a trade partner, the team announced Friday.
Arizona discussed trading Hopkins with multiple teams this offseason but his $19.45-million salary was a challenge, reports ESPN's Dan Graziano. The Cardinals will carry a dead-cap charge of $22.6 million for the wideout in 2023.
Hopkins' future with the Cardinals was one of the hottest topics of the offseason. Rumors of a trade with the Tennessee Titans popped up on the first night of the 2023 NFL Draft but nothing materialized. The New England Patriots also reportedly inquired about trading for Hopkins earlier this offseason.
The Kansas City Chiefs received permission to talk with Hopkins and had discussed a possible trade prior to the NFL draft, sources told the MMQB's Albert Breer. Hopkins' contract was viewed as a roadblock to a potential deal at the time. The star wideout would likely need to lower his asking price to sign as a free agent with Kansas City, which currently holds around $650K in cap space, per Over the Cap.
The five-time Pro Bowler did not show up for voluntary OTAs this week, instead electing to train in Toronto.
During an appearance on the "I Am Athlete" podcast earlier in May, Hopkins listed Josh Allen, Jalen Hurts, Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson, and Justin Herbert as the five quarterbacks he'd like to play with.
Hopkins played the last three seasons in Arizona after being acquired in a trade with the Houston Texans in 2020. His best year with the franchise was his first season when he caught 115 passes for 1,407 yards.
His production declined over the two seasons that followed; injuries spoiled his 2021 campaign and a suspension for violating the league's performance-enhancing drug policy cost him six games in 2022. He missed an additional two games last season with a knee ailment. He finished his final year in Arizona with 64 receptions for 717 yards.
Hopkins has recorded 11,298 receiving yards since entering the NFL in 2013, trailing only Julio Jones for most in the league during that span.