Several NFL teams are reportedly delaying trade talks with the Arizona Cardinals regarding All-Pro wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins in hopes that he can be acquired as a free agent, according to Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer.
Breer said "some teams" believe Hopkins will be released by the Cardinals -- which would allow him to be acquired without his new team having to give up trade assets -- as his current contract creates issues.
“Some teams think that Cardinals are going to cut him, they think the Cardinals will wind up cutting him,” Breer said while appearing on the Greg Bedard Podcast. “His market is not great right now. There’s nobody who was willing to take on Hopkins’ contract and pay the Cardinals initial asking price.”
The Cardinals are reportedly seeking a second-round draft pick and at least one additional trade asset in exchange for Hopkins, who is due to make approximately $34 million during the next two seasons.
In February, former NFL agent Joel Corry wrote in his column for CBS Sports that the Cardinals could complete a trade involving Hopkins without the wide receiver's approval. The no-trade clause in Hopkins' contract was reportedly voided when he was suspended for a violation of the league's performance enhancing substances policy last offseason, according to Corry, who said "several teams" were reported to have inquired about Hopkins' availability prior to the 2022 trade deadline last November.
Hopkins, 30, served a six-game suspension to start the 2022 season and recorded 64 receptions for 717 yards and three touchdowns during nine games. The Cardinals hired a new general manager in Monti Ossenfort and head coach in Jonathan Gannon this offseason and could look to deal Hopkins, who is set to make nearly $20 million this offseason.
Hopkins, who was acquired by the Cardinals in a trade with the Houston Texans in 2020, is a three-time first-team All-Pro, two-time second-team All-Pro, five-time Pro Bowl selection and led the NFL in receiving touchdowns in 2017. The former Clemson standout recorded 853 receptions for 11,298 yards and 71 touchdowns during his first nine NFL seasons.
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