DeAndre Hopkins, Kenyan Drake Contract Talks Ongoing with Cardinals, Says Keim

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistApril 16, 2020

Arizona Cardinals running back Kenyan Drake on his way to an 80-yard touchdown run during the first half of an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks, Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Elaine Thompson/Associated Press

Arizona Cardinals general manager Steve Keim said that contract extension talks with wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins and running back Kenyan Drake have occurred, though no new deals are imminent.  

"Both those guys are guys we'd like to have long-term," he said, per the team's website. "Again, if it makes our organization better and the opportunity arises, we will certainly do that. I've had communication with both their agents. We'll continue to pound away. The draft is the most important part right now, but we will continue to have ongoing talks with both of those players' agents."

Hopkins, 27, was acquired in an offseason trade and has three years and just under $40 million remaining on his current deal. But the superstar wideout was reportedly traded at least in part because he wanted a reworked contract the Houston Texans weren't willing to give him:

If Hopkins wanted a new contract in Houston, it's likely he'll want one in Arizona as well. He's certainly delivered the on-field production worthy of being paid like the NFL's elite, with five seasons of at least 1,100 receiving yards, four seasons with 95 or more receptions and three seasons with double-digit touchdowns. 

At the moment, Hopkins is tied for eighth in the NFL in average salary ($16.2 million), trailing behind Julio Jones ($22 million), Amari Cooper ($20 million) and Michael Thomas ($19.3 million), among others. It isn't hard to see why Hopkins wants that figure updated. 

As for Drake, he's set to play the 2020 season under an $8.5 million transition tag offer, though he's eligible to sign a new contract with the team until July 15. 

Drake, 26, was excellent after being traded to the Cardinals last year, rushing for 643 yards and eight scores in eight games. He's set to pair with Chase Edmonds at running back, giving the team a dynamic one-two punch in the backfield. 

While Hopkins is undeniably in the Cardinals' long-term plans, the team may want to see Drake put up big numbers in another prove-it year before negotiating a long-term extension, especially with Edmonds in place. 

It does sound, however, as though the Cardinals are at least entertaining the idea of an extension before the season.   

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