4 Wideouts the Arizona Cardinals can pursue if DeAndre Hopkins leaves
By Jim Koch
The Arizona Cardinals front office could look to land a free-agent wide receiver if they move on from DeAndre Hopkins in 2023.
When the Arizona Cardinals offense takes the field in 2023, there’s a decent possibility that the squad will do so without the services of DeAndre Hopkins. It appears as if the organization has interest in trading the wide receiver, primarily because of the exorbitant amount of salary-cap space the team will recoup by parting ways with the 30-year-old superstar.
If Hopkins does indeed get dealt, the Cards could very well be on the lookout for another top-notch pass-catcher. Robbie Anderson, the team’s disappointing trade acquisition from last October, will almost certainly be released. Veteran A.J. Green also isn’t likely to return, so Arizona will undoubtedly be looking to add to a receiving corps that currently consists of Marquise Brown, Rondale Moore and Greg Dortch.
The money that the Cardinals will save by not having to pay Hopkins could be used on a replacement for the five-time Pro Bowler. Free agency is just around the corner. The following are four wideouts who the club could have interest in when the signing period gets underway in March.
JuJu Smith-Schuster – Kansas City Chiefs
Back in March of 2022, the Kansas City Chiefs signed JuJu Smith-Schuster to a one-year, $10.75 million contract. Now, one year later, the 26-year-old wideout could once again be testing the free-agent waters.
In 16 appearances (14 starts) for the Chiefs this past season, Smith-Schuster hauled in 78 passes for 933 yards and three touchdowns. It was the 6 foot 1, 215 pounder’s best campaign since 2018, when he tallied 111 receptions, 1,426 receiving yards and seven scores for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Smith-Schuster was the second most-targeted Kansas City pass-catcher this past fall, with only tight end Travis Kelce getting more looks from quarterback Patrick Mahomes. The Redbirds will need a bigger receiver to complement Brown, Moore and Dortch, and Smith-Schuster certainly qualifies as a candidate to fill that role.