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Evaluating Pros/Cons for Cardinals Trading DeAndre Hopkins

Should the Arizona Cardinals part ways with wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins? Let's discuss both sides of the argument.

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins has put together a Hall of Fame career with over 11,000 receiving yards in his ten pro seasons, the last three coming in the desert. Hopkins has collected six 1,000-yard receiving seasons and has three seasons with over 100 receptions and 1,400 yards. At just 30-years-old, he might still have some good years left in him.

That being said, Hopkins is now two seasons removed from his last 1,000-yard season and has missed significant time the last two years with injuries and a suspension for PEDs. It's very likely that Hopkins is simply on the downward trajectory of his career.

NFL Media's Ian Rapoport reported on Saturday that new general manager Monti Ossenfort will meet with Hopkins some time within the next week to discuss his future with the team.

It begs the question many are asking: Should the Cardinals trade away Hopkins? Here, we're going to discuss both sides of the coin then come up with a verdict for what I would do and what I believe the Cardinals should do.


Hopkins may be past his prime

Eventually, everybody slows down and Hopkins will be no different. This could be a catalyst for the Cardinals to move on from Hopkins and get the most out of his value before his play begins to severely decrease. Knowing when to move on from a player is good business, and that time may be coming soon for Hopkins.

There could be a solid return on investment

What are teams willing to give up for a future Hall of Fame wide receiver? When Hopkins has been on the field, he's dominated in virtually every season of his career and he showed no signs of slowing down this year. 

A Day 2 selection in the 2023 NFL Draft feels realistic, but perhaps a bidding war could break out and the Cardinals can capitalize and stock picks to rebuild this team.

The Cardinals need to get younger/cheaper

Hopkins will be 31 years old in June and the Cardinals as a whole need to get younger across virtually every position. Having veterans is always a good thing, but it is necessary to have youth and not just older players.

Fiscally this also makes sense for the Cardinals who would enjoy a team taking Hopkins off their books and freeing up some more space to pursue some younger players in Free Agency.


Hopkins is still a top-10 receiver in the NFL

Age aside, Hopkins still looks terrific and as of now hasn't shown signs of slowing down. Hopkins remains the best wide receiver on the Cardinals' roster right now and they are unlikely to find a better option via free agency or the 2023 NFL Draft. Are the Cardinals willing to chance a downward trend at the position by moving on from Hopkins?

Trading him makes your offense worse

As previously mentioned, trading Hopkins removes your best wide receiver from your team. Heck, it removes arguably your best offensive player entirely. There is no doubt that this move will make your offense worse and not having Hopkins in your game plan will help opposing defensive coordinators scene to stop your offense. Simply put, this offense would be harder to watch without him.

What if you can't get good value?

Netting good value won't exactly be easy here. Hopkins is still an elite talent, but there are some major cons that will be red flags to teams:

  • He is turning 31 years old in June
  • He has missed 18 games in the last two seasons
  • He has a ~$30.8 million cap hit in 2023

Those are very unattractive to teams regardless of who the player is and it'll make negotiating a bit difficult. I said a day-two pick would be great, but will it be in the top 50 or at the very end of day two? A day-two pick isn't guaranteed either and the Cardinals may have to settle for a package of late-round picks. It's not ideal whatsoever, but this is a part of the problem of trying to move on.


I know this won't be an easy goodbye, but I believe this is a necessary move for the Cardinals to trade Hopkins.

The Cardinals absolutely got good use out of Hopkins in the three seasons he spent in the desert when you consider what they moved for him, but the team is facing a rebuild and an aging, expensive receiver shouldn't be in the folds. The team needs to get younger and continue adding assets.

There will be several teams calling for Hopkins' services as well, so the market won't be dry. Teams like the Baltimore Ravens, Green Bay Packers, or even the Kansas City Chiefs are contenders and would love to add Hopkins to complete their offenses.

This move likely won't be popular, but netting assets for a rebuilding franchise is a must and Hopkins could yield a fair market. This is a trade that feels and should be inevitable.

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