The 2023 NFL Draft has passed and DeAndre Hopkins, once considered a trade candidate, remains with the Arizona Cardinals 2023 roster. But now, some telling remarks from the perennial Pro Bowler on Monday signify he may remain in the desert after all.
DeAndre Hopkins Open To Remain in Arizona?
The five-time Pro Bowl selection took to his Instagram stories to make this telling statement from Phoenix:
“I see everybody telling me to stay. Who said I wanna go? Who said I wanted to leave? I’m out here working baby,” Hopkins said.
Even the team website for the Cardinals wrote the report of Hopkins’ Monday viral video, with reporter Darren Urban writing that Hopkins and team general manager Monti Ossenfort have had conversations.
“Noteable too that Ossenfort has mentioned he has had multiple conversations with Hopkins and his people,” Urban wrote. “Perhaps that became even more of note on Monday, when Hopkins put out a brief Instagram video — with a Phoenix, Arizona dateline — and a short message.”
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The thoughts of “D-Hop” possibly being moved first surfaced on March 27, with Urban revealing that teams were given trade talk permission to speak with the Cards about Hopkins.
Urban adds that Hopkins never publicly demanded for a trade, but merely hinted at the thought of playing elsewhere during an interview with the “All Things Covered” podcast back on April 16. He nodded away at the thought of being traded to the New England Patriots and New York Jets but nodded a “yes” to the Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs.
Draft Indicates Arizona Wants To Save Room for ‘D-Hop’
If the 2023 NFL Draft for the Cardinals was any indication, they’re making sure there’s room for Hopkins to come back with this new regime.
Arizona only selected one wide receiver — Michael Wilson out of Stanford in the third round at No. 94 overall. The Cardinals also were among the teams that traded down in the draft, notably sending their No. 3 overall pick to the Houston Texans, who used that pick to land Will Anderson Jr. out of Alabama.
Arizona went on to spend their first three picks away from addressing wide receiver and focused more on the trenches and defense. Offensive tackle Paris Johnson Jr. of Ohio State became the first selection in the new era of head coach Jonathan Gannon while EDGE BJ Ojulari of LSU and cornerback Garrett Williams of Syracuse came next to bolster Gannon’s side of the ball.
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Wilson, a towering option at 6-foot-3, 215-pounds, became the 13th wide receiver taken in the draft class. The thought of him being taken in the range of the 90s in the draft gives off this further notion: The Cardinals are ensuring Hopkins is still heavily thought of as WR1 for this offense moving forward, plus will remain a primary go-to target for quarterback Kyler Murray.
It also can point to the Cards taking on the hefty $19.45 million base salary he has set for the 2023 season, which is also part of his two-year, $54.5 million he signed with the team.
Even more convincing for Arizona fans who hope Hopkins stays, the Cardinals have signed nine undrafted free agents after the draft as of May 1…with none of them a wide receiver.
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