The Arizona Cardinals announced on Friday that they had released standout wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, making him free to sign with the Kansas City Chiefs or any other team.
This comes after months of trade speculation, with Hopkins rumored to be available in trade leading up to and during the 2023 NFL draft. Ultimately, his contract appears to have been prohibitive in Arizona finding an adequate trade partner. If Hopkins is released outright, the Cardinals will eat $21 million in cap space in 2023. If he’s a post-June 1 cut, they can spread that dead money out. Keep in mind, the release will not become official until 4:00 p.m. ET on Friday, so Arizona still has a chance to find a trade partner in the eleventh hour.
We have released Deandre Hopkins. pic.twitter.com/POnAb3uhWH
— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) May 26, 2023
Speaking on the “I Am Athlete” podcast last week, Hopkins detailed what he’s looking for in his next team.
“What I want is stable management upstairs,” Hopkins said. “I think that’s something I haven’t really had the past couple years of my career coming from Houston and then to Arizona. I’ve been through three or four GMs in my career, so stable management. A QB who loves the game, a QB who brings everybody on board with him and pushes not just himself but everybody around him. . . And a great defense, a great defense wins championships.”
Kansas City certainly should be high on his list should he truly values all of those things. Whether the team can afford to sign Hopkins at this current juncture remains to be seen. According to the NFLPA, the Chiefs have just over $2.8 million in salary cap space and they still need to sign rookie second-round draft pick Rashee Rice. This, however, is much easier to navigate than figuring out a way to fit Hopkins’ contract in a trade situation with the Cardinals.