Gannon: WR DeAndre Hopkins’ release best thing for Cardinals
Jun 2, 2023, 7:42 AM
TEMPE — For the first time since 2019, the Arizona Cardinals roster sheet at practice Thursday did not include the No. 10 of DeAndre Hopkins.
The Arizona Cardinals parting ways with wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins this offseason was expected.
After three seasons in Arizona, his time in the desert had clearly ran its course, especially following a rocky 2022 that included suspension, then injury before he treated this offseason as a free-agency before he formally became one. The Cardinals didn’t get anything in return for him via trade, instead opting to outright release the No. 1 wideout.
Losing a talent of Hopkins’ status isn’t the easiest thing to overcome but given what head coach Jonathan Gannon envisions in his team, it was the right move to make.
“With all the factors that were in play, we just felt like it was the best thing for the team to play with who we have,” Gannon said Thursday.
“It’s really no big deal to me,” the head coach added. “We were operating under the premise that he was going to be here. Now, we’re not. So, we’re moving on.”
Arizona Cardinals head coach Jonathan Gannon and the team are “moving on” following the release of No. 1 WR DeAndre Hopkins:
“It’s really no big deal to me. We were operating under the premise that he was going to be here and now he’s not, so we’re moving on.”
— Arizona Sports (@AZSports) June 1, 2023
With Hopkins’ future with the Cardinals decided, the focus now turns to the remaining members of the wide receivers room led by Hollywood Brown.
Inheriting the No. 1 role from Hopkins, Brown will have even more of an opportunity to prove his worth to the Cardinals — and potentially other prospective NFL teams — in a contract year.
Brown’s rapport with QB Kyler Murray was evident, albeit in a small sample size, last season due to injury. He’s flashed as a top option for both Arizona and Baltimore in the past.
Rondale Moore, Zach Pascal, Greg Dortch and rookie Michael Wilson sit directly behind Brown and will be called upon more thanks to Hopkins’ release.
Even with a handful of sturdy pass catchers, Hopkins leaves behind a big hole in an offense already down Murray to start the year.
“I’m not really looking to replace D-Hop. What I’m looking for is us to play together, play winning football as a team,” Gannon said. “That’s not just the wide receiver room. That’s the tight end group, the O-line group, the quarterback group, the running back group, the defense, special teams.
“Football is never about one guy. Never has, never will be. We all got to pull our weight.”