NFL Rumors: DeAndre Hopkins' No-Trade Clause in Cardinals Contract Voided by PED Ban

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVFebruary 16, 2023

GLENDALE, ARIZONA - NOVEMBER 06: DeAndre Hopkins #10 of the Arizona Cardinals reacts as he runs during an NFL Football game between the Arizona Cardinals and the Seattle Seahawks at State Farm Stadium on November 06, 2022 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images)
Michael Owens/Getty Images

If the Arizona Cardinals want to move on from DeAndre Hopkins, they won't have to worry about his no-trade clause anymore.

CBSSports.com's Joel Corry wrote the clause was voided when Hopkins received a six-game suspension for violating the NFL's performance-enhancing drug policy.

The Cardinals could be heading toward a bit of a reset this offseason. They have a new head coach (Jonathan Gannon) and general manager (Monti Ossenfort) after having missed the playoffs in three of Kliff Kingsbury's four years on the sideline.

On Jan. 21, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported Ossenfort planned to meet with Hopkins and "plot out the future."

Ian Rapoport @RapSheet

The <a href="https://twitter.com/NFLGameDay?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@NFLGameDay</a> Notebook with <a href="https://twitter.com/MikeGarafolo?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@MikeGarafolo</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/TomPelissero?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TomPelissero</a>: The future of DeAndre Hopkins should clear up soon; <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Ravens?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Ravens</a> QB Lamar Jackson will be as involved as he wants in the OC hire; Dan Quinn's coaching candidacy is picking up; <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Packers?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Packers</a> QB Jordan Love just wants to play. <a href="https://t.co/bklsHyPHUA">pic.twitter.com/bklsHyPHUA</a>

Moving on from the three-time All-Pro would be a sensible decision for Arizona.

Hopkins battled a hamstring injury in 2021 before suffering a torn MCL. Then came the six-game suspension to open 2022 campaign.

When he was healthy over the past two seasons, the 30-year-old wasn't performing at his typically elite level, either. Since 2021, he has caught 106 passes for 1,289 yards and 11 touchdowns in 19 appearances.

Based on the historic trajectories for NFL receivers, Hopkins' steady decline appears to be underway. If the Cardinals are planning to take a step backward to take two steps forward in 2023, keeping his $30.8 million salary cap hit on the books might be a tough pill to swallow.

Arizona would be left with a $22.6 million dead cap hit if it trades Hopkins before June 1, but it would save $8.2 million by doing so. Waiting until after June 1 would split the dead money evenly between 2023 and 2024 while saving significantly more money ($19.5 million) this season.

While taking Hopkins' no-trade clause off the table removes one hurdle in that process, the Cardinals could encounter some difficulty if his trade market isn't robust. The MMQB's Albert Breer speculated in January they might only get a Day 2 pick in return because of his age, recent history and sizable contract.