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Last year, we saw the wide receiver market explode as Tyreek Hill, Davante Adams and A.J. Brown signed contracts worth $25-plus million with new clubs after blockbuster trades. Cooper Kupp, Stefon Diggs, D.K. Metcalf, Deebo Samuel, Terry McLaurin, D.J. Moore, Chris Godwin and Mike Williams also inked extensions for $20 million or more annually.
In the upcoming offseason, JuJu Smith-Schuster may be the biggest name set to hit the open market in a mediocre free-agent class of wide receivers. As a result, a top-tier wideout who wants a new deal could command a lot in contract negotiations.
According to Jordan Schultz of The Score, the Cardinals plan to trade wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, and he’ll “likely seek a new deal.”
On Instagram, Hopkins posted a photo of himself with the caption “forever grateful,” which may suggest that he expects to play elsewhere next season. Keep in mind that Arizona fired head coach Kliff Kingsbury, and general manager Steve Keim stepped down to focus on his health.
Hopkins has two years left on his contract, and his deal carries a $30.8 million cap hit next season, per Over the Cap. A team that’s interested in the receiver can sign him to an extension and lower his 2023 cap hit on a modified pact.
In 2022, Hopkins served a six-game suspension for violating the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy, yet still caught 64 passes for 717 yards and three touchdowns with a 66.7 percent catch rate in nine outings (missed two games with a knee injury). He ranked 10th leaguewide in receiving yards per contest (79.7).
Going into his age-31 term, Hopkins should have a decent market, specifically, teams flushed with cap space or playoff-contending clubs, and the New York Giants make the most sense.
Already a playoff team, the Giants can look to build on an impressive first year under head coach Brian Daboll. Big Blue can land Hopkins to replace Kenny Golladay, who hasn’t played up to his four-year, $72 million contract as Daniel Jones’ big-bodied (6’4″, 213 lbs) safety blanket receiver.
Big Blue could try to trade Golladay and if no team bites because of his contract, the front office can designate him as a post-June 1 cut and save $13.5 million against the cap, adding to their projected $54.2 million for 2023.
As a physical perimeter receiver, Hopkins would be a complement to versatile rookie wideout Wan’Dale Robinson, who tore his ACL in November, and slot receiver Sterling Shepard, who tore his ACL in September. He would likely become the go-to option and help 24-year-old Isaiah Hodgins’ development.
This season, the Giants ranked 26th in passing yards; they desperately need another playmaker to bolster their aerial attack.