With former Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury and former GM Steve Kiem no longer at the forefront in “the valley of the sun,” other pieces of the Cardinals team could be in new places come next season. The hiring of new head coach Jonathan Gannon and GM Monti Ossenfort, means changes to the roster are definitely in order, and one name that could bring a nice haul of picks or players is former All-Pro wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, who’ll likely be dealt this offseason. But one caveat for Hopkins is he no longer can control where he’s traded.
By virtue of his six-game PED suspension to begin the 2022 season, Hopkins therefore voided the right to control his next destination. And while the Cardinals will more than likely do right by D-Hop, they’re also going to take the best deal available for them.
What Happened To D-Hop’s No Trade Clause?
CBS Sports contributor and former agent Joel Corey had this to say about that huge development:
“The no trade clause in Hopkins’ contract was voided after the wide receiver was suspended by the NFL last May for violating the league’s performance-enhancing substances policy. Now, Hopkins has significantly less leverage on where he’d be traded to next, which creates more flexibility for Arizona to get the most assets back possible if the franchise wants to move him.”
Why is this huge news?
Because, from a where-you-go standpoint, Hopkins could’ve been dealt to a Super Bowl contender who may not have or be willing to give up the assets a rebuilding team may give up. That’s huge for a player who’s now looking to play for championships and not just to go out and receive a nice payday.
Kyler Murray’s Health Will Play A Factor
With star quarterback Kyler Murray recovering from a torn ACL, that is also sure to play a factor. Without the diminutive dynamo under center, what would be the use of keeping Hopkins, who’s 31 and wants to compete for championships while he’s still one of the best in the league.
And with the latest report from NFL Network insider Ian Rappaport, it sounds as if Murray won’t be rushing back, in an effort to make sure he’s 100 percent healed.
“My understanding is he is going to take his time and make sure this thing is 100 percent right,” Rappaport said last week. “He is young. He’s got a long career. He’s not going to rush, so do not be surprised if we don’t see him start to start the season or maybe even by the midway point. This injury has to heal properly.”
Trade Would Save Rebuilding Cardinals $20M In Capspace
Simply put, Hopkins staying in Arizona doesn’t seem like a good fit. He’s due to take in nearly $20 million next season, and in a league that loves to throw the football, moving D-Hop could land some quality assets. A team like the New England Patriots, who are short on receiver talents but have a young promising signal-caller in Mac Jones, could be an option. And with them just adding former Houston Texans head coach Bill O’Brien to fix their atrocious offense, adding Hopkins could be the perfect fit to help their very solid defense as well.
It’s also no secret the respect and admiration both Hopkins and Patriots head coach Bill Belichick have for each other.
But let’s not forget that the aforementioned O’Brien traded Hopkins to the Cardinals before he was fired in H-Town. A lot of storylines now surrounding Hopkins and his soon-to-be move out of Arizona.