NFL rumors: Cardinals plan to trade star WR DeAndre Hopkins in offseason

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Cardinals reportedly plan to trade Hopkins; Should Patriots get involved? originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

One of the best wide receivers in the NFL could hit the trade market this offseason.

The Score's Jordan Schultz reported Tuesday that the Arizona Cardinals plan to trade star wideout DeAndre Hopkins.

Hopkins would not be a cheap acquisition for any team. In addition to the cost it would take to acquire him, he'll also carry a salary cap hit of almost $20 million in 2023 and just under $15 million in 2024. His contract includes a no-trade clause, too, so he has veto power over any potential deal.

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Should the Patriots get in the mix if Hopkins is on the trade block?

The short answer is yes.

The Patriots need elite skill at the wide receiver position -- a legit No. 1 target who can dominate defenses all over the field. Hopkins certainly qualifies as that type of player. He missed the first six games of the 2022 season because of a PED suspension, but he was fantastic after returning to the field.

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Hopkins tallied 64 receptions for 717 yards and three touchdowns over nine games for a Cardinals team that was a mess throughout the season. Those numbers, stretched over a full 17-game schedule, come out to 120 receptions for 1,353 yards and five touchdowns. Hopkins, over the last six seasons between the Texans and Cardinals, has averaged 89 receptions for 1,135 yards and eight touchdowns over 13 games played.

It also should be noted that Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has a boatload of respect for Hopkins. One example came during the Patriots-Cardinals Week 14 matchup in Arizona this past season.

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The Patriots are projected to have around $54 million in salary cap space this offseason, per OverTheCap. They have both the cap space and the need for a player like Hopkins. The question is whether the Patriots want to make a blockbuster move for a wideout or find a cheaper option to upgrade at the position.