The new brass in Arizona inherited an assortment of question marks from the previous Cardinals regime. With the NFL Scouting Combine next week and free agency in mid-March, one of the front-burner issues is the status of star receiver DeAndre Hopkins.
Hopkins’ contract carries a $30 million cap hit in 2023, an untenable pact that needs adjusting one way or another. The star wideout, who missed the start of last season due to a suspension for violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing drug policy, has been the subject of trade rumors this offseason.
New Cardinals general manager Monti Ossenfort told the Bickley & Marotta show Thursday morning that the club is keeping all of its options open with Hopkins at this point.
“I had a great talk with D-Hop a couple weeks ago,” Ossenfort said, via the team’s official website. “I explained to him what my philosophy was. It was a great conversation. D-Hop has been a great player in this league for a long time. I’m excited to work with him. I think any roster decisions like that, we are in the very early stages right now.
“From afar, I’ve had to compete against — not me personally, but I’ve [worked] for teams that have to compete against D-Hop, I know what a problem and a stress he puts on defenses. I’m excited to have D-Hop on the team. Whether it’s D-Hop’s situation or anyone’s situation, we are in the stages of evaluating that.”
Despite playing in just nine games in 2022, Hopkins led the Cardinals with 717 receiving yards and added three TDs. Taking him out of the equation certainly hurts the offense, thrusting Marquise Brown into a clear No. 1 role. But given Hopkins’ contract, which has no more guaranteed money left, it feels inevitable that the club will move on at some point as they start their rebuild under Ossenfort.