Connected NFL columnist Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated recently joined the “Greg Bedard Patriots Podcast” to share some of his nuggets and takeaways from last week’s spring owners meeting in Phoenix, Arizona.
There has been continued speculation about five-time All-Pro wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, who the Arizona Cardinals have allowed to speak with other teams. The Cardinals reportedly desire at least a second-round pick for Hopkins — but that is not all that might go into a potential swap.
The caveat regarding the 30-year-old is that there are two years (and north of $34 million) remaining on his current contract. That has made him less attractive as a trade candidate — which now leads to Breer’s latest piece of news: that he could become available via an outright release.
“If Hopkins’ price were to come down, I mean, some teams think they’re gonna cut him,” said Breer. “I think the Cardinals are going to wind up cutting him. His market is not great right now. And even for teams, like say Kansas City — Kansas City would need him to take a significant paycut.”
Per our calculations at Arrowhead Pride at the time of this writing, the Chiefs have about $5.5 million of available cap space for 2023. That assures a Cardinals-Chiefs trade is out of the question. But could the Chiefs get involved if he is simply available on the open market, ready to sign a new contract?
Breer confirmed that it might take Hopkins’ willingness to agree to a contract similar to what former Chiefs wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster took last year. As a reminder, those numbers came in at one year for $3.76 million ($2.49 million guaranteed), not including incentives that could have earned Smith-Schuster up to $10.75 million.
It is reasonable to say that Hopkins should be able to find a better offer elsewhere. But if he is indeed released, we should never say never. With his new deal with the Patriots, Smith-Schuster just showed a year with Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid could prove lucrative.