Arizona Cardinals fans should welcome DeAndre Hopkins back with open arms
By Jim Koch
The five-time Pro Bowl wide receiver will bring a degree of respectability to the Arizona Cardinals organization in 2023.
Former Arizona Cardinals general manager Steve Keim did some very good things during his 10-year stint with the franchise. One of his best acquisitions came back in March of 2020, when wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins was brought to the desert. The association between the Cards and the five-time Pro Bowler was supposed to come to an end during last week's NFL Draft, but Hopkins appears to be going nowhere.
Current GM Monti Ossenfort did one heck of a job during the league's annual three-day event, but his best move may have been hanging onto Hopkins. The 30-year-old was reportedly being shopped for additional draft capital, but Arizona's front office wasn't just going to give the star away. While obtaining another second or third-round pick for his services would've been the practical thing to do, it's much more exciting to have such a sensational player like Hopkins back in the fold.
Consider the possibilities if Cardinals signal-caller Kyler Murray can return from his torn ACL much sooner than expected. Suddenly, the much-maligned quarterback would have both Hopkins and Marquise "Hollywood" Brown to throw to in 2023. The Redbirds never really got to take advantage of that impressive combination last fall, thanks to Hopkins' suspension and the injuries that sidelined both receivers at various points of the campaign.
Arizona Cardinals scoring attack is much more formidable with DeAndre Hopkins on the roster
There's also much more to the Cards scoring attack than just Hopkins, Murray, and Brown. With the sixth-overall selection, Ossenfort landed the best offensive lineman of the '23 draft class. Murray can now rest easy, knowing that Ohio State left tackle Paris Johnson was acquired to help the passer remain upright when he gets back on the playing field.
There are other offensive weapons to be excited about as well. Running back James Conner will pace Arizona's ground game, while Zach Ertz and Trey McBride will give the squad a two-headed monster at the tight end position. Additional pass-catchers such as Rondale Moore, Greg Dortch and rookie Michael Wilson will also join in on the fun.
Hopkins was still at the top of his game last year during the nine games he appeared in. The 6 foot 1, 212 pounder hauled in 64 passes for 717 yards and three touchdowns, and averaged a healthy 11.2 yards per reception. There's no reason to believe that Hopkins' performance will be in decline any time soon.
Having Hopkins around helps the club maintain a certain degree of respectability. Kudos to management for recognizing what the South Carolina native can bring to the table. At the very least, the "Red Sea" will have the honor of seeing Hopkins in a Cardinals uniform for one more season.
(Statistics provided by Pro Football Reference)