DeAndre Hopkins Trade? Five Potential Landing Spots For Star Wideout

The Cardinals reportedly will consider trading the wideout


Jan 10, 2023

The 2022-23 NFL campaign hasn’t even reached the postseason and we already have one of the juiciest rumors of the offseason: the Arizona Cardinals reportedly are planning to trade wideout DeAndre Hopkins.

The Score’s NFL insider Jordan Schultz was the first to report the development Tuesday evening.

If it proves to be true, Hopkins would vault to the top of available receivers given the 2023 free-agent class currently is headlined by Kansas City Chiefs wideout Juju Smith-Schuster and New England Patriots pass-catcher Jakobi Meyers.

Hopkins, 30, has two years and approximately $34 million left on his current contract, though Schultz reported he likely will seek a new deal. He also carries cap hits of $30.75 million and $26 million in 2023 and 2024, respectively, according to Spotrac.

Hopkins has a no-trade clause, per Schultz, meaning he would need to sign off on any potential trade.

Here are four teams who might consider a trade for the three-time All-Pro, who had 717 yards on 64 catches and three touchdowns during 10 games this season:

Green Bay Packers
Well, that’d be one way to ensure quarterback Aaron Rodgers returns, right? Following a season-ending loss to the Detroit Lions in Week 18, Rodgers lamented how the Packers never were able to make up for the offseason trade of Davante Adams. Green Bay’s lack of consistency from its receiver group ultimately went a long way in the Packers failing to live up to expectations this season, missing the NFC playoffs in what’s likely one of Rodgers’ final seasons — if not final. Obviously, a trade for Hopkins likely would be contingent on the return of Rodgers, but it feels like it would be a move both parties benefit from. The Packers, should Rodgers return, would need to be in win-now mode.

New England Patriots
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick praised Hopkins to no end this season. “What a career you’re having. You missed half the season, still going to lead the league in receiving,” Belichick told Hopkins in mid-December, as captured on HBO’s “Hard Knocks.” Hopkins echoed that admiration by saying “I love you, man,” to the New England coach. The Patriots relied on depth at the skill positions this season, and could use an infuse of high-level talent, which Hopkins would bring. New England’s leading receiver in yards each of the last three seasons, Meyers, also is set to hit free agency when the 2023 league year starts in March.

Baltimore Ravens
It feels like any time a receiver is involved in speculation the Ravens aren’t far behind. Baltimore long has needed help for quarterback Lamar Jackson. Now, with Jackson eyeing a long-term extension, perhaps the Ravens opt to utilize the franchise tag and pair him with Hopkins? That certainly will help them decide on the quarterback’s long-term future should they still need more time, or to see him with a high-end talent. And it would be a cheaper, short-term solution so they avoid tying up long-term funds. Jackson hasn’t been paired with a wideout the caliber of Hopkins. And the potential addition feels like it could go a long way in helping the playoff-bound Ravens reach another level in 2023.

Kansas City Chiefs
Sure, it would be a case of the rich getting richer, but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen. It’s likely the arm’s race in the AFC will be showcased over these next few weeks. Who knows what could happen should Patrick Mahomes and company come up short in their pursuit of a Super Bowl? Smith-Schuster is an impending free agent, and chances are he could command more on the open market that Kansas City is willing to spend. And he’s not worth what Hopkins is. Currently, the Chiefs have approximately $15 million in cap space tied to their receiver room in 2023 with Marquez Valdez-Scantling, Kadarius Toney and Skyy Moore among the five wideouts. That’s a group that will need to add this offseason.

Dallas Cowboys
Dallas’ decision to trade Amari Cooper last offseason because he was owed $20 million in each of his next two campaigns has not looked like a smart decision. While CeeDee Lamb has appeared to be a budding star, the Cowboys still seek production elsewhere with Michael Gallup and Noah Brown failing to measure up with typical WR2s and WR3s. Acquiring Hopkins via trade would pair Lamb with another star receiver two years before the 2020 first-rounder would begin his second contract. And can’t we all imagine Jerry Jones wanting to see a star on Hopkins’ helmet like he previously did with Odell Beckham Jr.?

Thumbnail photo via Isaiah J. Downing/USA TODAY Sports Images
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