Rams Rival Makes Major Roster Move With $54.5 Million Star

Rams Cards

Getty De'Andre Hopkins tries to maintain control against the Rams on December 13, 2021.

The next time the Los Angeles Rams will face the Arizona Cardinals, they won’t be game planning for All-Pro wide receiver De’Andre Hopkins.

In a stunning move announced by the Cardinals on Friday, May 26, the team has released the Pro Bowl wide receiver.

What Helped Transpire the Move?

The decision officially ends his $54.5 million deal he signed with the Cardinals which would’ve made him a free agent for the 2025 offseason. Hopkins, though, carried a base salary of $19.450 million for the upcoming season — which points to this team decision being on the cap side.

Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network further broke down the numbers involving the Cards and Hopkins.

“It’s not a post-June 1 cut, so the Cardinals clear $7,388,890 in 2023 cap space — eating all $22.6M in dead money now — and DeAndre Hopkins will be off the books in 2024. Arizona held out as long as it could but couldn’t trade Hopkins’ contract. Now he hits the open market,” Pelissero said.

Yet, this decision by the Cards comes in the wake of recent comments made by “D-Hop,” which pointed to a possible resolution between he and the Cards.

Earlier in May, Hopkins tried to squash rumors of him wanting out of Arizona by taking to his personal Instagram page with this message:

“I see everybody telling me to stay…who said I want to go? Who said I wanted to leave? I’m out here working baby,” Hopkins said back on May 1.

However, speculation of tensions between he and the Cards resurfaced during the start of voluntary workouts (OTAs). Hopkins was a no show for the Cards’ OTAs which left many wondering if he was still demanding a trade. Hopkins, though, told I Am Athlete’s Brandon Marshall and Ashley Nicole Moss that he was in Toronto “getting my body examined” and doing his training there. But he also addressed his Arizona future.

“I love Arizona. Working out in Arizona is amazing. A lot of people work out there because of the weather, and the living conditions are amazing. But Phoenix is home,” Hopkins said to the show. “It’s where I have been the last three years. Working out there, there’s no emphasis other than that’s where I live. It’s not me going on a campaign. It’s just me working out.”

Hopkins dove further into how he addressed the rumors of being “shopped around.”

“I have no ego. This is a business, this is a professional sport. People have jobs to do. Obviously, there’s a new regime with new coaches and GMs. They come in and out every year. So for me, understanding and knowing the business, I can’t go into it with an ego,” Hopkins said. “Hearing rumors of me being traded or shopped around, that does nothing for me as far as making me feel some type of way towards that team.”

Perhaps, though, these comments caught the attention of the Cards as Hopkins got asked about his quarterback Kyler Murray and the state of the Cards’ QB room.

“Kyler is a quarterback who loves the game, but he’s injured. Right now, I’m playing with Colt McCoy — who I love ––but who knows? Right now, I don’t currently have a Pro Bowl quarterback,” Hopkins said. He also outlined to Marshall and Moss that he wants “stable management upstairs” in referring to the front office and “a QB who loves the game” plus a great defense.

Now, Arizona will have a fresher set of wide receivers heading into ’23 and when they take on the Rams.

Any Thought of Hopkins Inside the ‘Rams House?’

With Hopkins now on the open market, is this a prime chance for the Rams to capitalize?

It wasn’t long ago the Rams brought in another released former Pro Bowl WR in Odell Beckham — which helped spark the run to Super Bowl 56. The Rams currently have a more youthful group of WRs with Cooper Kupp being the only one who’s been with the team for more than five seasons.

The very thought of Hopkins possibly coming has surfaced among Ram fans.

Cameron DaSilva of Rams Wire, however, doesn’t believe Hopkins would be lured in.

“As fun as it would be to see Hopkins lined up alongside Cooper Kupp, the Rams are not going to sign him,” DaSilva wrote. “Doing so would go completely against everything they’ve done this offseason. All they’ve tried to do is free up cap space for next offseason and rid themselves of large, costly contracts by parting ways with star veterans: Floyd, Jalen Ramsey, Bobby Wagner, Allen Robinson.”