Getting a marquee wide receiver for the cost of a Day 2 pick in the 2023 NFL draft is a dream scenario for the New York Giants this offseason. It could become a reality if the Giants offer a third-round pick to the Arizona Cardinals for DeAndre Hopkins.
That’s the trade package outlined by Bleacher Report’s Alex Ballentine. He thinks the Giants can convince the Cards to deal provided they use the 101st pick as bait.
Landing Hopkins, who is already the subject of heavy trade speculation, for a pick outside the top 100, would be a major coup for Giants’ general manager Joe Schoen. He’d get a proven veteran with five Pro Bowl berths, three first-team All-Pro honors and over 11,000 yards receiving on his CV.
Adding Hopkins would also surely going a long way to convincing quarterback Daniel Jones to stick around and avoid free agency.
Productive 30-Year-Old What’s Missing from Daniel Jones-Led Offense
Hopkins is 30, hasn’t completed a full season since 2020 and began this campaign serving a six-game suspension for violating the league’s policy on PEDs. Those are all the reasons not to sign him, but there are just as many reasons the Giants should move fast to secure a deal.
One incentive concerns Hopkins’ potential bargain value as a trade chip. He carries a contract set to pay $34.3 million, non-guaranteed and spread over the next two seasons, according to Spotrac.com’s Michael Ginnitti.
The deal would start with Hopkins earning $19.45 million in base salary for 2023. That’s good value for one of the premier wide receivers in the game.
Hopkins still rates in the elite bracket, despite missing eight games through injury and suspension this season. When he saw the field, Hopkins showed he’d lost none of his sure-handed brilliance, speed after the catch and flair for the big play.
He showed off all of those qualities on this touchdown catch and run against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 9:
Plays like this have helped Hopkins amass six 1,000-yard seasons, 11,298 yards in total and four years with 100-plus catches. As Ballentine put it, Hopkins is the kind of go-to target who “could unlock another level for Jones.”
The latter will either get a new long-term contract or receive the franchise tag after a breakout campaign. Using the tag would let the Giants cover themselves against Jones’ special 2022 season being merely a one-off, rather than proof of future greatness.
Alternatively, Jones will never make the strides he needs to until the Giants equip him with a true No. 1 wideout. Hopkins fit the bill, but the Giants will have to move fast if the Cardinals make him available.
Giants Should Be at the Front of the Queue of Trade Suitors
Hopkins was diplomatic when asked about the trade rumors by former Green Bay Packers wide receiver James Jones, per FanDuel TV. While he said “we’re just taking it day by day,” Hopkins also admitted “obviously, there are teams out there that, you know, who wouldn’t love to play with some of these teams? You know, especially being a 10-year veteran like myself, going into my 11th year, playing some of my best ball I feel like.
For his part, Jones “wouldn’t mind” seeing Hopkins play alongside Packers’ stars, receiver Christian Watson and running backs Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon.
The New England Patriots are another possibility, but Jeff Howe of The Athletic thinks “it would be viewed as a pretty major surprise” if Hopkins moved to Gillette Stadium. Howe cited the presence of returning Pats’ offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien, the man who traded Hopkins to Arizona while in charge of the Houston Texans in 2020.
That trade only netted the Texans second and fourth-round picks, along with running back David Johnson. Hopkins is now almost three years older and has dealt with injury issues, including a torn MCL in 2021, so a third-round pick looks like enough to get a new deal done.
There’s a path clear for the Giants, who have $44,419,480 worth of space under the salary cap to accommodate both Hopkins’ contract and a new deal for Jones. With Richie James, Darius Slayton, Sterling Shepard and Isaiah Hodgins all among their free agents, the Giants can’t afford not to make a splash move at wide receiver.