CARDINALS CORNER

Jonathan Gannon operating under premise DeAndre Hopkins will be a Card

Mar 28, 2023, 10:08 AM | Updated: Mar 29, 2023, 11:37 am

DeAndre Hopkins #10 of the Arizona Cardinals is called for a personal foul penalty against Eric Sto...

DeAndre Hopkins #10 of the Arizona Cardinals is called for a personal foul penalty against Eric Stokes #21 of the Green Bay Packers during the first half at State Farm Stadium on October 28, 2021 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins has been one of the big names floating around trade talks this offseason.

It was reported Monday that the wideout had been granted permission to speak with other teams in hopes of facilitating a deal.

And with the annual league meeting underway in Phoenix, it was a given the wideout would be a topic of discussion.

But until any kind of move is made, Hopkins remains a Cardinal in new head coach Jonathan Gannon’s eyes.

“Right now, I’m operating under the premise that Hop’s our starting X and people are going to have to defend him,” Gannon said during the annual league meeting on Tuesday. “He’s been great and I’m looking forward to get to work with him.

“Everyone that has a jersey right now, I’m looking forward to coaching and fitting them in all together.”

Keywords: Right now.

It’s not hard to see what Hopkins brings to the table. Defenses are forced to play differently when he’s on the field.

And even when he missed eight games last season due to suspension and injury, he still managed to rank right up at the top of the Cardinals when it came to catches (64), receiving yards (717) and touchdowns (three).

Despite his unquestioned abilities on the field, moving on from the 31-year-old wideout entering his 10th NFL season would give first-year general manager Monti Ossenfort more cap space and draft capital amid a current rebuild.

Per OverTheCap.com, moving Hopkins before June 2 would save just under $9 million in cap space but also carry a dead money hit of $21 million in 2023.

By trading him June 2 onward, the team would free up $19.45 million this season and close to $15 million in 2024. The dead money would also be split into $10.5 million in this season and next.

As for what the compensation could look for Hopkins, that’s all over the map.

This past Saturday, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported that Arizona wanted a “Christian McCaffrey package” in the range of a second- and third-round pick in return for Hopkins’ services. It takes two to tango, however, with Fowler adding teams aren’t willing to do that just yet.

SI.com’s Albert Breer believes a deal for Hopkins will look much closer to the trade that the Dallas Cowboys executed, giving up a pair of late-round picks to nab Brandin Cooks from the Houston Texans.

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