Arizona Cardinals must not budge on price for DeAndre Hopkins

San Francisco 49ers v Arizona Cardinals
San Francisco 49ers v Arizona Cardinals / Michael Zagaris/GettyImages

Over the past two offseasons, we have seen receivers get traded for late-round picks. The Arizona Cardinals must not let this happen regarding DeAndre Hopkins.

If the Arizona Cardinals best offer is anything less than a second round pick, then they need to keep star receiver DeAndre Hopkins in the desert. There is no reason to trade a player who, despite his high salary, the fact he will be 31, and has played in just 19 games over the past two seasons, remains one of the league’s more effective players at the position. 

Hopkins may have played in just nine games last season, but he notched 64 catches in that span, 717 yards, and a 66.7% catch percentage. With four different quarterbacks throwing him the ball, none of whom playing particularly well in 2022, attaining such numbers is tough to come by. 

Arizona Cardinals must price Hopkins as a 2nd round pick or nothing

Hopkins would carry a lot of value for teams who believe they are on the cusp of Super Bowl contention. And while conventional logic states the closer we get to Draft Day, the cheaper he will cost, the opposite could, and should be, true. 

What if a team missing that final puzzle piece still believes they are just a receiver away from taking their team over the top? What if someone like Aaron Rodgers, assuming he eventually heads east to play for the New York Jets, for example, still sees Hopkins in the desert and says, “You know what? Bring him to the Meadowlands.”

Even if the Cards can’t get a deal done regarding Hopkins before the draft, it doesn’t mean they still can’t trade him following the event. In fact, it could even work in the Cardinals favor, as, per Spotrac, Hopkins will only count $11.3 million in dead cap for 2023, instead of $22.6 million. 

The downside? Big Red won’t get a 2023 second-round pick. But if they stand pat and keep the price for Hopkins listed as a second-rounder, another team could easily pull off the deal following the draft if they believe they need that one final puzzle piece. 

Source: Cardinals likely to get less for DeAndre Hopkins than originally wanted by Jess Root,

(Statistics provided by Pro-Football-Reference)