Cardinals release star WR DeAndre Hopkins, incur $21million dead-cap charge for NFL 2023 season

In a move to rebuild their roster for the upcoming season under the guidance of new head coach Jonathan Gannon and general manager Monti Ossenfort following a 4-13 campaign in 2022, the Arizona Cardinals broke up with their star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins in a salary cap move after failing to decide on a suitable trade partner for him.

Before the Cardinals, Hopkins played in 110 games throughout seven seasons with the Houston Texans after getting drafted by the franchise as 27th overall in the 2013 NFL draft. He went on to become a fan favorite, making 632 catches on 1,048 targets for 8.602 yards and 54 touchdowns. He headed to Arizona in 2020 in a blockbuster $54.5m contract extension through 2024.

DeAndre Hopkins gets released by the Arizona Cardinals

After a three-year run, the Cardinals released their star playmaker Hopkins in his Prime to let him explore his options and negotiate with the teams vying for his services, including major contenders like the Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs.

The football prodigy’s future in Arizona had been uncertain following the conclusion of the last season due to his highest $30.75 million cap hit as a wide receiver. Now the franchise is expected to save $8.15 million in cap space for 2023, however, they will also have to bear a dead cap hit of $22.6 million.

The five-time Pro Bowler didn’t have any guaranteed money left on his deal, hence, the team will also save $19.45 million in cash in 2023, per NFL Network Insider Tom Pelissero.

DeAndre Hopkins

How were DHop’s three seasons with the Cardinals?

The three-time All-Pro wide receiver moonlighted as a hero during his first season in Arizona by catching a franchise-record 115 passes for 1,407 yards and six touchdowns.

He became plagued by injuries in the 2021 season and appeared in only 10 games, catching 42 passes for 572 yards.

The soon-to-be 31-year-old faced legal issues in 2022 due to violating the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy, leading to suspension and staying out of the football field for the first six games of 2022. He recorded 64 catches for a team-leading 717 yards and three touchdowns and couldn’t reclaim the consistent production level that could place him in line for annual postseason honors.

DeAndre Hopkins

The Murray-Hopkins duo appeared as one of the most prolific in the NFL after the arrival of DHop, however, both battled with injuries and the expectations with them faded with time.

With Kyler Murray still waiting to recover from an ACL tear suffered late in the 2022 season and DeAndre being out of the squad, the Cardinals will probably need to handle the team more cautiously should they hope to bounce back from the poor performance of the last season.


371 articles

Maliha works as a content writer in Sportszion specializing in NFL and NBA. She has completed her graduation and post-graduation, majoring in MIS (Management Information Systems). She loves analyzing sports and keeping fans updated with the latest sport buzzes.


Leave a Comment