DeAndre Hopkins' Cardinals Future Will Be Evaluated in Coming Weeks amid Trade Rumors

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 18, 2023

GLENDALE, ARIZONA - DECEMBER 25: Wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins #10 of the Arizona Cardinals during the NFL game at State Farm Stadium on December 25, 2022 in Glendale, Arizona. The Buccaneers defeated the Cardinals 19-16 in overtime.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Arizona Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill said Tuesday that new general manager Monti Ossenfort will decide DeAndre Hopkins' long-term future with the franchise.

"We talked about a number of things, but those are some of the things [Ossenfort's] going to be evaluating," Bidwill told reporters. "As he said, he's only been in the building a few hours. He doesn't even know his way around, so he'll be working on that in the coming weeks. I'm sure we will talk about that more."

Hopkins carries a $30.8 million salary-cap number for the 2023 season, which will need to be adjusted even if he stays with Arizona. The Cardinals would save $8.2 million by trading or releasing Hopkins before June 1, and that figure would jump to $19.5 million if he's traded after June 1 or given a post-June 1 cut designation.

Arizona fired head coach Kliff Kingsbury and general manager Steve Keim stepped down for health reasons earlier this month, signaling a new era after a disappointing 4-13 season. Ossenfort was named Keim's replacement Monday after spending the last three seasons as the Tennessee Titans' director of player personnel.

From an on-field standpoint, there is little reason for the Cardinals to move on from Hopkins. He put up 64 receptions for 717 yards and three touchdowns this season despite playing only nine games. The Cardinals played just one full game with Hopkins, Marquise Brown and Kyler Murray in the lineup.

While Murray will likely be out until midway through the 2023 season as he recovers from a torn ACL, it'd be fair for the new head coach to want to see how things work with all three. Trading Hopkins is only going to decrease the amount of talent around Murray.

That said, Murray's health could give Arizona what amounts to a punt season in 2023 wherein the front office and coaching staff revamps the roster in its image, takes some lumps and looks to compete again in 2024.