The Philadelphia Eagles could be the perfect landing spot for a recently-released wide receiver.
As announced on Friday, May 26, the Arizona Cardinals are releasing five-time Pro Bowl receiver DeAndre Hopkins. The move comes after the Cardinals shopped Hopkins on the trade market over the past couple of months.
Why Cardinals Released DeAndre Hopkins Instead of Trading Him
Hopkins had been the center of trade talks in recent weeks. However, teams refused to complete a deal for the 30-year-old receiver, with ex-Cardinals general manager Steve Keim citing Hopkins’ contract as a reason why.
As reported by Jeff Howe of The Athletic, Hopkins’ contract, injury history, recent suspension and age all played a role in why the Cardinals couldn’t complete a deal for him.
“The Cardinals attempted to trade WR DeAndre Hopkins, per sources,” writes Howe. “But the contract, injury history, recent suspension and age all factored into teams being reluctant to complete a deal. Now as a free agent, the contract won’t be nearly as much of an obstacle.”
DeAndre Hopkins Reveals Interest in Playing With Eagles QB Jalen Hurts
The veteran receiver openly revealed several of his favorite quarterbacks during a recent podcast appearance, including Eagles franchise passer Jalen Hurts.
Via ESPN’s Adam Schefter:
“On a recent appearance on the ‘I Am Athlete’ podcast, free-agent WR DeAndre Hopkins listed the five QBs he’d most like to catch passes from: the Bills’ Josh Allen, the Eagles’ Jalen Hurts, the Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes, the Ravens’ Lamar Jackson and the Chargers’ Justin Herbert,” tweeted Schefter.
The Eagles already feature arguably the top receiving duo in the NFL in Pro Bowler A.J. Brown along with 1,100-yard receiver DeVonta Smith. Those two — both under the age of 25 — aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. In other words, if Hopkins were to sign with the Eagles, he’d jump in as the third option.
Via Martin Frank of The Delaware News Journal:
“If Hopkins came to Eagles, he’d be 3rd option with AJ Brown, DeVonta Smith and Dallas Goedert,” writes Frank. “Yes, that would be tremendous for Eagles. But Hopkins can find other Super Bowl caliber-teams where he’d be a No. 1 or No. 2 receiver.”
Hopkins remains a productive receiver, posting 64 receptions and 717 yards with three touchdowns in nine starts last season. However, it’s clear his production is slipping a little as he gets older, as Hopkins caught a career-low 11.2 yards per reception. Meanwhile, he caught just three touchdowns on 64 catches last season, vastly lower than the eight touchdowns on 42 receptions he caught during the 2021 season.
While that could lead one to believe that Hopkins may be perfectly suited for a No. 3 role with a Super Bowl contender such as the Eagles, the veteran receiver may feel otherwise. In fact, as John Frascella of FanSided notes, the Kansas City Chiefs and Buffalo Bills may be the best landing spots for Hopkins considering he’d immediately jump in as one of their top two receiving options.
Considering Hopkins’ cap number was $29,988,890 for the 2023 season — the Cardinals are eating over $21 million in dead cap space with his release — money likely won’t be a big factor in any potential Hopkins signing. It’ll likely come down to team fit and role.
We’ll see if the Eagles ultimately end up pursuing Hopkins, but he won’t be lacking options as a free agent.