Arizona Cardinals receiver DeAndre Hopkins was called upon by fans to join the Kansas City Chiefs after he said during the Super Bowl that quarterback Patrick Mahomes was “different.”
The Chiefs do appear to be the “primary suitor” to land Hopkins, according to Benjamin Allbright of KOA in Denver. “We’ll see, but that’s a rumor that’s floating around [at the NFL Scouting Combine],” he told PHNX Sports on February 28.
READ MORE: Ex-Chiefs WR Joining Forces With Eric Bieniemy in Washington: Report
But fan reaction to the rumor was mixed.
“I think this is exactly where Nuk should go….go play with an elite QB for once,” one Twitter user said.
Allbright said he thought that the most Arizona could get in return for Hopkins was “probably” a second-round pick, which is viewed as a steep price tag by some folks.
“Don’t give up more than a 3rd. We have people to pay,” another user wrote. “He’s going to eat some cap. You need cheap talent elsewhere. Package another pick if necessary, but he isn’t worth a 2nd with the contract and I like him.”
“I will be f’n shocked if this happens – and I wont really like the move if it does,” another user wrote.
“Hopkins to the #Chiefs would be a fascinating move on so many levels,” Brandon Kiler of ESPN St. Louis wrote. “The trade would be antithetical to the transactions [Chiefs GM Brett] Veach has made the last few years (specifically, moving on from 30+ yr old players).”
“Ain’t no way the Chiefs are trading for an aging WR that wants a new deal for a 2nd round pick,” another user wrote. “Best case scenario for the Cards is that they pay for half of his salary and the Chiefs send them a 3rd.”
“No way holy hell I’d get a Hopkins jersey asap if this happens. That would be crazy,” another user wrote.
DeAndre Hopkins on Hall of Fame Trajectory
The Cardinals, who finished 4-13 last season and fired head coach Kliff Kingsbury, plan to trade Hopkins this offseason, according to a January report by The Score’s Jordan Schultz. Hopkins has two years and $34 million left on his contract, and he will have a $30.7 million cap hit in 2023. He does have a full no-trade clause in his contract, per NBC Sports Boston.
He was the 27th overall pick by the Houston Texans in 2013. Since then he has six 1,000-yard seasons, 853 receptions, 71 receiving touchdowns, and has been named an All-Pro three times and a Pro Bowler five times, per Pro Football Reference.
In March 2020, the Cardinals traded running back David Johnson, a second-round pick, and a fourth-round pick to the Texans in exchange for Hopkins and a fourth-round pick. Then in September of that year, Arizona gave Hopkins a two-year extension that included a $27 million signing bonus and $60 million in guarantees, per Spotrac.
As it stands, Hopkins ranks 36th all-time in career receiving yards (11,298) and is 3,047 yards away from cracking the top 10 all-time on that list (Reggie Wayne is 10th all-time with 14,345), according to Pro Football Reference.
Cardinals ‘Not Sure’ If DeAndre Hopkins Will Remain in Arizona
Speaking to the media at the NFL Scouting Combine, new Cardinals head coach Jonathan Gannon was asked if DeAndre Hopkins would be on Arizona’s roster when the 2023 season begins.
“I’m not sure,” Gannon said on February 28. “We are evaluating everyone.”
Gannon did however acknowledge what Hopkins brings to the table in terms of talent.
“I know this — he’s a premier receiver you have to have a plan for (as a defense),” Gannon said. “He limits you with how you have to play defense. … He’s a valuable asset for us.”
I live in the Kansas City area. There is no way we’re going to sign a 30+ year old wide receiver. Let alone one that would cost as much as Hopkins.