CARDINALS CORNER

DeAndre Hopkins a player former Cardinal Kurt Warner would keep around

Apr 3, 2023, 2:00 PM

Wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins #10 of the Arizona Cardinals during the NFL game at State Farm Stadiu...

Wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins #10 of the Arizona Cardinals during the NFL game at State Farm Stadium on December 12, 2022 in Glendale, Arizona. The Patriots defeated the Cardinals 27-13. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The words “DeAndre Hopkins” and “trade” have become entwined with one another as the offseason presses on.

With the Arizona Cardinals looking to recoup whatever they can amid a rebuild under new general manager Monti Ossenfort, the wide receiver remains one of the big names expected to be on the move.

Any potential deal would bring back a future asset for the Cardinals — along with much-needed cap relief — but if Hall of Famer Kurt Warner had a say, he’d keep Hopkins around.

“He’s such a difference maker and he’s one of the best players in the National Football League. To me if I’m there, we need to keep this guy,” Warner told Arizona Sports’ Bickley & Marotta on Monday. “This is one of the best players in the league, we got him in house. We need to keep this guy and I know there’s a lot of speculation that they’re going to trade him.

“It’s moves like that that to me — and I know there’s a bigger picture, I know organizations have to look sometimes long term and four or five years out, but what I know is players don’t. Players look at the right now and they want to know they’re in a position to compete right now and they can go out there and win, because tomorrow is not guaranteed in this league. I think some of those moves are going to be interesting.”

Warner and Arizona fans have seen firsthand what Hopkins can bring to the table, racking up 221 catches for 2,696 yards and 17 touchdowns across 35 games played.

The only real knock on Hopkins the past two seasons has been his availability.

After playing in all but two games since 2020, Hopkins has missed 15 games the past two seasons combined due to a PED suspension (six games) and injury (nine).

But when he’s available, he bolsters a roster that Warner believes is in a better place than many think at the moment.

What it looks like down the road? That’s anyone’s guess.

“Where they’re at right now, you can look at their roster, especially offensively and say they’re not in terrible shape right now assuming Kyler can come back healthy and Kyler can continue to make growth if they keep all these pieces in place,” Warner said.

“Very young on defense — I think they’re going to have to add some pieces in the draft defensively — but still very young on that side with some good pieces to build around like Budda (Baker). I don’t think it’s as bad as some people are saying right now, but with a couple of moves and guys having to come off of injuries and how they come back, it could look very different when we’re talking about it when we’re kicking off game No. 1 next year.”

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