DeAndre Hopkins will be 31 next season and can still play at a high level. But should the Arizona Cardinals trade him in 2023?
There has been an ongoing debate all over the Arizona Cardinals universe regarding DeAndre Hopkins. Before J.J. Watt announced his retirement, I even said the Cardinals would be better off keeping the defensive end over the receiver because of the value Hopkins still has, coupled with the fact that he may only have a couple of good years left.
However, there is also reason to keep Hopkins around, so the basis of today’s article will be three reasons the Cardinals should move Hopkins and three reasons why they shouldn’t. Before I begin, my prediction is that the former All-Pro receiver will be in a Cardinals uniform for 2023.
But there is also the possibility it won’t happen. Anyway, let’s dive into the good stuff.
Why the Arizona Cardinals should trade Hopkins
1 – Hopkins is worth early draft picks
While Hopkins’ age will keep teams that aren’t in serious contention for a Super Bowl away, I can see someone seeking to contend or to return to contention trading for him. Someone like the Dallas Cowboys, the Buffalo Bills, or even a darkhorse like the Baltimore Ravens could seek to acquire him. For compensation to a serious contender, Hopkins would be worth at least a first and a third-round pick.
2 – Kyler Murray will be less reliant on Hopkins
One gripe I had about Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray was the fact that he would get overly-reliant on Hopkins. But with the likes of Marquise Brown, Zach Ertz, Greg Dortch (if he signs), and even Rondale Moore and Trey McBride, Murray has more than enough adequate and experienced talent around him to shine without Hopkins.
3 – The Chandler Jones Effect
Two years ago, I said the Cardinals needed to move Chandler Jones, though not everyone agreed. That didn’t happen, and they let him walk away for nothing. While Jones was great in a Cardinals uniform last season, he was, for the most part, pedestrian during his first season with the Las Vegas Raiders.
Case in point, the Cardinals could have acquired some serious compensation for Jones had they traded him following the 2020 season. This meant they would have kept Haason Reddick, who is enjoying an All-Pro season in Philadelphia. The Redbirds should consider not making the same error regarding Hopkins.
Why they shouldn’t
1 – Hopkins will still draw coverage
This is the captain obvious reason. Hopkins will still draw immense coverage until he loses a step. With Hopkins garnering attention, Brown, Moore, Ertz, McBride, and others will often find themselves open, allowing Murray to capitalize. This will also help revitalize the Arizona Cardinals offense.
2 – Hopkins has chemistry with multiple quarterbacks
Trace McSorley is an outlier here, given Hopkins’ one catch in 10 targets in Week 16. But other than that, the star receiver has shown throughout the years dating back to his time in Houston that he can build chemistry with different quarterbacks. If Murray has a setback and is forced to miss a portion of next season, Hopkins would be a staple to move the offense efficiently.
3 – Hopkins will still put up elite numbers
As mentioned, Hopkins is still an outstanding receiver. Therefore, you can expect him to put up big numbers for at least another season or two. Hopkins may have missed substantial time over the past two seasons, but he has shown zero signs of slowing down, and he has once again proven to be one of the NFL’s best pass catchers.
Overall, there are many reasons for trading away Hopkins, but there are just as many reasons to keep him around. It will come down to who is on the sidelines and in the front office next season, regarding the direction they would like to take the team.
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