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Bidwill: Cardinals have talked new DeAndre Hopkins deal

(AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

As last offseason began, Arizona Cardinals general manager Steve Keim needed to make changes — and fast.

A little more than a year later, he’s made up for draft whiffs and hiring mishaps that began with the tail end of Bruce Arians’ tenure as head coach. He hired coach Kliff Kingsbury as Steve Wilks’ replacement last January and drafted a franchise quarterback in Kyler Murray.

The team showed promise with five wins in 2019, and Keim struck early this 2020 offseason, trading away running back David Johnson for a top-five NFL receiver in DeAndre Hopkins.

Safe to say the seat under Keim is no longer hot, if it ever was warming.

The Cardinals maneuvered the Hopkins deal two weeks ago as the league shuttered team facilities amid the coronavirus crisis. Already, Arizona and its No. 1 receiver have discussed a new contract.

“I think when you look at DeAndre, he’s certainly somebody who’s playing at the top of his game and I know Steve has had some conversations about that,” Cardinals president and chairman Michael Bidwill said on a conference call Tuesday.

Reports at the time of Arizona’s trade for Hopkins indicated he was seeking out a contract restructuring. He still has three years and $40 million left on a deal that runs through the 2022 season. What’s left is not guaranteed.

Atlanta Falcons receiver Julio Jones leads the NFL with an average salary of $20 million per year, and ESPN’s Ed Werder and Dianna Russini reported Hopkins was seeking something close to that amount before the Texans traded him.

Hopkins’ current contract totaling five years and $81 million averages out to $16.2 million annually, eighth-highest among receivers in the league. But considering the last three years only, it doesn’t come close to being tops at his position.

It pays out the most in 2022, but that $13.9 million doesn’t fit the value when compared to the rest of the league’s receivers.

Obviously, Arizona has time to negotiate a new contract with Hopkins.

Bidwill, meanwhile, was unsurprisingly pleased with that deal, the latest of Keim’s makeover work over the past year. The team president likes what the 2020 Cardinals could become once coronavirus-caused restrictions clear the way for football to return.

“My reaction (to the Hopkins trade) was very positive, as you can imagine,” Bidwill said. “Steve and I talked about it. There was a little bit of back-and-forth and so when the thing came together, I was very excited and I knew it would be a huge upgrade. Certainly for the football team on the field, but he’s just a terrific teammate and then you saw he made a very generous contribution to the Arizona coronavirus relief fund.

“I feel very good. There’s obviously a lot more work to be done. The draft will be an important part of addition of player talent. It always seemed like after the draft there are always some late signings as we get closer to camp. There are still a few more steps as we get closer, but I like on paper how it’s coming together.”

Highest-paid NFL wide receivers by average annual salary

Values below represent annual average of total contract length at signing

Julio Jones, Falcons — $22 million
Amari Cooper, Cowboys — $20 million
Michael Thomas, Saints — $19.25 million
Odell Beckham Jr., Browns — $18 million
Tyreek Hill, Chiefs — $18 million
A.J. Green, Bengals — $17.865 million
Mike Evans, Buccaneers — $16.5 million
DeAndre Hopkins, Cardinals — $16.2 million

Contract values via Spotrac.com


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