CARDINALS CORNER

Cardinals focused on what’s best for team, DeAndre Hopkins amid trade chatter

Apr 11, 2023, 3:49 PM | Updated: Apr 12, 2023, 11:33 am

DeAndre Hopkins, Arizona Cardinals...

Wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins #10 of the Arizona Cardinals lines up during the NFL game at State Farm Stadium on October 20, 2022 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals defeated the Saints 42-34. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

TEMPE — The Arizona Cardinals and wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins were back at work on Tuesday, albeit in different states.

On the same day the Cardinals opened up Phase 1 of their voluntary offseason programs in Tempe, the wideout posted his own training regimen from Houston amid continued trade speculation surrounding the No. 1 pass catcher in Arizona.

As far as what his participation within the Cardinals’ offseason programs might look like moving forward? That remains up in the air for new head coach Jonathan Gannon.

“We’ll see,” Gannon said Tuesday. “I’ve been in communication with D-Hop and I want to do what’s best for him and us at the same time. When he’s ready to come, he’ll come and improve his game, too.”

Hopkins’ name has been thrown around trade chatter for much of the offseason, with report saying as many as five teams could be interested in acquiring the wideout’s services.

It’s easy to see why.

At 33 years old, Hopkins is still considered one of the best wide receivers in the game. Defenses are forced to attack an offense differently with the five-time Pro Bowler on the field, as Arizona has seen the past three seasons.

Despite missing eight games last season due to a PED suspension and a knee injury, Hopkins still paced the Cardinals with 717 receiving yards and was second in receptions (64) and touchdowns (three).

But availability issues have crept up on the wide receiver, who isn’t getting any younger.

After playing in 16 games in 2020, his first season in the desert, Hopkins has appeared in just 19 contests the past two years combined due to injury and suspension.

Before joining the Cardinals, Hopkins had missed a total of two games over the course of his seven-year career with the Houston Texans.

Then there’s where the Cardinals currently stand that has to be considered amid a rebuild under first-year general manager Monti Ossenfort.

Keeping Hopkins on the books would carry cap hits of $29.9 million and $25.5 million in 2023 and 2024, respectively.

Moving on from the wideout would not only free up much-needed cap space, it would provide Ossenfort with additional draft capital to help in the rebuild.

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