After months of trade speculation, the Arizona Cardinals outright released wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins on Friday. Heading into his 11th season in the league, the All-Pro wideout is now a free agent and will be in high demand for a team needing a veteran receiver to complete their offense.
As a guest on a recent episode of the I Am Athlete podcast, Hopkins cited a stable front office, a competitive quarterback, and a strong defense as wishlist traits of whatever franchise he lands next. Now he gets to pick and choose where he’ll suit up in 2023.
Below, we’ll go over a few potential landing spots for Hopkins following his release.
With the contract saga with quarterback Lamar Jackson settled and in the rearview, the organization can shift their primary focus to surrounding him with the necessary weapons to compete for a Super Bowl. Adding a player the of Hopkins’ caliber would do just that.
D-Hop would join an offense that is suddenly loaded with skill position talent, with the likes of Mark Andrews, JK Dobbins, Odell Beckham Jr., and rookie Zay Flowers serving as weapons for Jackson. In the aforementioned podcast, Hopkins cited Jackson as a QB he would like to catch passes from and a move like this would the team a serious threat to challenge the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC.
Another QB Hopkins said that he would love to play with is Josh Allen and there’s now an opening for the Bills to turn that into reality.
Stefon Diggs has been the top wideout in Buffalo for the last handful of seasons and has done wonders in helping turning Allen into an MVP contender. Opposite of him, a solid No. 2 option in Gabe Davis has emerged over the past few seasons and he’ll be a threat to crack 1,000 yards in 2023. Despite the team’s success with this high-powered offense, the Bills still have banged their heads against the ceiling and have not been able to get past the Chiefs in the postseason. Signing Hopkins could be the move that finally gets them over the hump.
Philadelphia has one of the deepest rosters in the NFL and are rightfully the favorites to win the NFC Championship for a second straight season. So why not add to an already loaded offense by securing the services of “Nuk” in 2023?
Like Jackson and Allen, Jalen Hurts made the list of QB’s he’d like to play for and he’d help further solidify him as an MVP candidate. With AJ Brown and DeVonta Smith already established in Philly, the potential addition of Hopkins would round this possibly the best receiver room in the entire league. And that doesn’t even include tight end Dallas Goedert also serving as a major part of the Eagles’ passing game. The team came up just a field goal short in the Super Bowl this past February and Hopkins could put them over the edge.
New York Jets
The hype machine is already rolling in the Big Apple with the arrival of Aaron Rodgers. Why not kick it into overdrive by adding a three-time All Pro?
Similar to what the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Los Angeles Rams have done in recent years with their acquisitions of a veteran QB, New York is clearly trying to go all in and cash in on the Rodgers experience immediately. A veteran like Hopkins would bring them a step closer to Super Bowl contention and he’d be opposite a rising star in second-year wideout Garrett Wilson.