Another Star WR May Be Hitting Free Agency Soon

Another Star WR May Be Hitting Free Agency Soon
Dec 25, 2022; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Arizona Cardinals receiver DeAndre Hopkins (10) warms up before their game agaionst the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Rondone-USA TODAY Sports

In what has already been a very bizarre offseason with trade requests from both Lamar Jackson and Aaron Rodgers, a situation that seems to have fallen under the radar is the one clouding over DeAndre Hopkins and his future with the Arizona Cardinals.

After acquiring Hopkins via trade prior to the 2020 season, Arizona has spent this offseason trying to move the star WR again in order to avoid his $30 million cap hit in 2023 and $26.2 million hit in 2024. However, it appears that the Cardinals have hit a snag in trying to find a team willing to take on that type of money for the soon-to-be 31-year-old receiver.

Dec 18, 2022; Denver, Colorado, USA; Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (10) before the game against the Denver Broncos at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

As a result, recent reports suggest that the Cardinals may ultimately release the wide receiver rather than trade him. During an appearance on the Greg Bedard Podcast, Sports Illustrated reporter Albert Breer said that “Some teams think that Cardinals are going to cut him, they think the Cardinals will wind up cutting him.” Breer said, “His market is not great right now.”

It makes sense that teams would be hesitant to acquire Hopkins with his contract, and that is only amplified by the fact that he has only played 19 games over the past two seasons due to injury and a suspension early last season.

Dec 12, 2022; Glendale, Ariz., USA; Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (10) runs with the ball after a catch against the New England Patriots during the third quarter at State Farm Stadium. Nfl Cardinals Patriots 1213 New England Patriots At Arizona Cardinals

That being said, when he’s been healthy, Hopkins has consistently been one of the best wide receivers in the league over the past decade. In all likelihood, as long as he plays the majority of the 2023 season, he will become just the 29th receiver to break 12,000 career receiving yards.

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (10) celebrates after a touchdown catch against the Los Angeles Chargers during the first quarter at State Farm Stadium in Glendale on Nov. 27, 2022. Nfl Arizona Cardinals Vs Los Angeles Chargers Los Angeles Chargers At Arizona Cardinals

It remains extremely unlikely that the Vikings would get involved in the Hopkins sweepstakes, even if he does hit free agency, but it’s hard not to think about what a pairing of the veteran along with Justin Jefferson could do for Minnesota’s offense. If the Vikings were to depart from RB Dalvin Cook at some point this offseason, it could open up the door to Minnesota becoming interested in Hopkins.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho with a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.