Cardinals couldn’t (but didn’t want to) use post-June 1 designation on DeAndre Hopkins

The Arizona Cardinals announced the release of wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins on Friday. Because they did it before June 2, they take a big dead-money hit against the 2023 salary cap.

Depending on where you look, the Cardinals will take a dead-money charge this year of between $21.1 million to $22.6 million (Over the Cap says $21.1 million). They will save between $8 million and $9 million in cap space, as he was due to count more than $30 million against the cap.

Many fans have wondered why the Cardinals did not use a post-June 1 designation on Hopkins’ release to spread the cap hit over two seasons.

They could not do so and didn’t want to.

NFL team are only able to release two players by June 1 and designate them as post-June 1 releases. The Cardinals already used those designations on Rodney Hudson and J.J. Watt.

They could not have used it on Hopkins.

Of course, they could have waited a week to release him and then it was have actually been after June 1.

Clearly they did not want to add another $11 million in dead money to next year’s cap.

The Cardinals were already willing to take the full cap hit this year. They would have in the case of a trade. They did not find a trade partner.

It is clear the Cardinals have their eye on 2024. Moving Hopkins was more about clearing his contract from next year than it was about saving cap space in 2023.

The Cardinals did not need the extra cap space this year and they appear they are gearing up for a big 2024 offseason. Taking flexibility away from next year wouldn’t make sense.

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Story originally appeared on Cards Wire