Arizona Cardinals: What are the pros and cons of potentially cutting DeAndre Hopkins?
By Sion Fawkes
It seems that the Arizona Cardinals will likely keep DeAndre Hopkins around for another season at least, but they can still part ways with the star receiver.
To be upfront, I don’t believe the Arizona Cardinals will cut star receiver DeAndre Hopkins and that he will stay in the desert, but it’s still worth looking over the pros and cons of cutting ties with him. Hopkins, even at his soon-to-be age 31, can still play, as he’s proven last season, and as mentioned earlier in the year, it would make sense for a top-tier contender to consider drafting him.
But, of course, there is the challenge of paying Hopkins, which could indeed be the reason why the Cards could not trade him before the NFL Draft. So, with a young team brewing in the desert not figuring to contend this year, would it make sense to just cut Hopkins and let him seek out a team if he’s too old to be in their plans long-term? Let’s explore the concept.
Should the Arizona Cardinals cut Hopkins after June 1st?
For one, cutting Hopkins after June 1st won’t force $22.6 million in dead cap, but it will instead cost just $11.3 million this season, and an additional $11.3 million in 2024. This gives the Cards some cap relief, and they would also save $19.45 million.
Another big pro is that by cutting Hopkins, it opens things up for the younger pass-catchers who will be in the desert this season and hopefully, long-term, with the likes of Trey McBride, Marquise Brown, Michael Wilson, Rondale Moore, and Greg Dortch. Hopkins is then free to sign with a contender he feels he’s the best fit for.
At this point, there are no guarantees regarding Hopkins’ salary. So if the Cards are interested in cap savings, cutting him after June 1st, but before Week 1 means they owe him nothing in guaranteed money.
Cutting Hopkins basically tells us that the Arizona Cardinals are indeed throwing away the 2023 season. This, along with the fact the Redbirds will likely see a backup quarterback starting in September if Murray isn’t ready, means that the only joy you will get out of watching Cardinals football would come in the form of them developing young talent. I’m okay with that, but I know many fans aren’t.
Then there is the fact you let him walk without getting anything for him. Hopkins may have only seen action in 19 of 34 possible games over the past two seasons, but he’s still a major contributor. In other words, the Cards could still get value for him via trade.
Murray is also a much better player with Hopkins lining up wide. When Murray returns without his favorite target, we have no idea if he will bounce back this season, or if he will continue to play like the major bust he looked like last year. If the latter is the case, then you might just see Caleb Williams or Drake Maye in a Cardinals uniform come 2024.
Source: Will the Cardinals cut DeAndre Hopkins? by Mike Florid, ProFootballTalk.NBCSports.com