Arizona Cardinals are outsmarting the NFL in the DeAndre Hopkins Saga

Dec 20, 2020; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (10) runs the
Dec 20, 2020; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (10) runs the / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Ask anyone who covers the NFL’s other 31 teams, and they will use words like ‘delusional’ to describe the Arizona Cardinals.

Regarding the DeAndre Hopkins saga, the Arizona Cardinals are on the power play, and the rest of the NFL and those in league circles don’t like it. Some sources have used verbs like “lying” and “bluffing” to describe head coach Jonathan Gannon’s wise take regarding star receiver DeAndre Hopkins. 

Of course, Gannon is preparing as though Hopkins will be on the roster in September. Why wouldn’t he? Any decent head coach would be doing the same thing, but clearly, some people just don’t understand that. 

Even if there is a 99% chance Hopkins and a 1% chance he’s staying, if he’s on the roster, and a projected starter, might I add, you prep as though he’s going to be there. So to use the adjective “delusional” to describe Gannon is pretty delusional in and of itself. 

The only way I would describe Gannon as such is if, for any reason, Hopkins held out, and the Cardinals coach wasn’t making other arrangements. At the moment, Nuk is on the roster.. 

Arizona Cardinals are outsmarting the NFL, end of story

One reason Hopkins is still a Cardinal is because they, unlike seemingly the league’s other 31 teams, understand his value. The guy only logged over 7 catches per game last season, and had nearly 80 yards per contest. Over a 17-game stretch, that averages out to 121 receptions and 1,354 yards. 

And remember, Hopkins wasn’t hurt, as many people also seem to forget. He missed six games with a suspension, and just two games because of an injury. But any way the rest of the league wants to look at it and convince themselves otherwise, Hopkins is far more valuable than the likes of Amari Cooper or Brandin Cooks, who justifiably went for lower prices

So the Cardinals seem to be, and should be, giving the league an ultimatum. Either pay the high premium for Hopkins, or he can stay in the desert and continue to torch opposing defenses. Take your pick, NFL, because a healthier Cardinals team, even one that may be rebuilding, is going to be pretty tough if quarterback Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins once again find themselves on the same field. 

In short, it’s a brilliant move. And if the rest of the league doesn’t like it, and they don’t want to conform to the Cardinals, that’s their problem. 

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Source: 'Delusional!' DeAndre Hopkins 'Lies' from Cardinals; Trade Idea for Ravens by Mike Fisher

(Statistics provided by Pro-Football-Reference)