Top 3 reasons the Arizona Cardinals are better off keeping DeAndre Hopkins for 2023
Now that we know what the trade costs were for Jalen Ramsey, should the Arizona Cardinals just hold onto star receiver DeAndre Hopkins?
For a while, I’ve been a huge advocate for the Arizona Cardinals to trade receiver DeAndre Hopkins. But now that the Los Angeles Rams traded one of their star players, Jalen Ramsey, to the Miami Dolphins for a third round pick and some kid named Hunter Long, what would that tell us about Hopkins’ value?
Okay, Ramsey is a cornerback and Hopkins is a receiver. So let’s check out the Amari Cooper trade in 2022. The Cleveland Browns acquired Cooper for a mere fifth-round pick, while simultaneously swapping sixth-rounders with the Dallas Cowboys.
Not the most exciting trade in the world, right? And Cooper thrived in Cleveland after a successful stint in Dallas. So suppose the Cards are offered nothing more than a third and a fifth for Hopkins, do you trade for him?
I wouldn’t. And below, I’ll outline three reasons why.
Why the Arizona Cardinals are better off keeping Hopkins
1 - Hopkins provides more value than mid-round picks
While the Arizona Cardinals are in a small rebuild-I hesitate to call it a full-on rebuild, draft picks are what you want. But something like a third and a fifth for Hopkins isn’t going to cut it.
The Cardinals have eight picks, six of which are in the third round or later. Given Hopkins’ production, even during injury and suspension-riddled seasons, he’s worth at least a second-rounder.
Arizona doesn’t need to devalue Hopkins for mid-to-late round picks. And if that’s all other clubs offer, keep him.
2 - Hopkins would keep the Cardinals from signing a ‘big’ target
If the Arizona Cardinals trade Hopkins, they would need to shop for a big target at receiver since at the moment, Rondale Moore, Marquise Brown, and Greg Dortch would be their only viable players at the position. Since each are 5’9 and under, trading Hopkins opens up another need.
Again this is only if Arizona is only offered something in the mid-to-late rounds. If someone offers a second-rounder, take the deal and look for a free agent receiver. But for anything less, don’t think twice about rejecting it and save yourself a need.
3 - Hopkins is a viable stopgap - at worst
A viable stopgap, thanks to his elite production even when he only plays a handful of games. But even if Hopkins’ production declines, the Cardinals shouldn’t fret, as he would at least provide a serviceable target in 2023.
Overall, the Redbirds can’t diminish Hopkins’ trade value just to get him out the door. If someone offers anything later than a second-round pick, reject, and move on. He proved in 2022 he’s too good of a player for Big Red to move him for anything less than a solid return.