Arizona Cardinals receivers must live up to their lofty contracts in 2023
By Sion Fawkes
With the highest-paid receiving unit in the NFL, the Arizona Cardinals past-catchers must live up to their billing in 2023.
The Arizona Cardinals receiving unit comprises a talented group of players led by DeAndre Hopkins and Marquise Brown, two names who can be game-changers this season regardless of who lines up behind center. But the Cards have more than just Hopkins and Brown going for them, with the likes of Rondale Moore, Greg Dortch, Michael Wilson, and Zach Pascal rounding out the notable names in the group.
And their expectations will only increase this season, as not only are they the highest-paid receiving corps in the NFL per SpoTrac, but chances are, they will be catching passes from career backups to open the season, and perhaps for a greater portion of the 2023 campaign. This means the Cards will be relying on the highly-paid group to exceed expectations if they plan on being even remotely relevant in 2023.
Can the Arizona Cardinals receivers live up to their lofty billing in 2023?
Last season, we all thought we’d see a one-two punch with Hopkins and Brown, but it never materialized. Hopkins served a six-game suspension, and when he returned, Brown was injured and missed an extended period. Rondale Moore was once again banged up all season, and if it wasn’t for Greg Dortch’s solid campaign, this unit would have severely underperformed in 2022.
Now that everyone’s healthy and it appears Hopkins is staying in the desert, the Cardinals can finally enjoy a return on the investment they paid for their top two receivers. And if both men can stay out of the trainer’s room in 2023, chances are, the Arizona Cardinals passing attack will at least be serviceable while Murray remains on the mend.
If Hopkins and Brown can perform with backups throwing them the ball, it will also open things up for Moore, Dortch, and rookie Michael Wilson. Their solid play will also play an integral role in determining what kind of looks tight ends Zach Ertz and Trey McBride will get in 2023. The more productive Hopkins and Brown are, the more effective both tight ends will be in the red zone.
In short, success at receiver for the Arizona Cardinals starts with Hopkins and Brown. If they stay healthy, this unit will be effective, regardless of who is playing quarterback. And it will open up opportunities for the rest of the team’s pass catching unit.