Arizona Cardinals coach planning on DeAndre Hopkins despite rumors


PHOENIX — Two weeks before he’ll begin working with his new players for the first time, first-year Arizona Cardinals head coach Jonathan Gannon said he’s under the assumption that wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins will be a Cardinal despite trade rumors.

“Right now, I’m operating under the premise that Hop’s our starting X [receiver] and people are going to have to defend him,” Gannon said Tuesday morning from the NFL’s annual meeting at the Arizona Biltmore.

Hopkins has been the center of trade speculation because his cap hit in 2023 will be $30.75 million to accompany a $19.45 million salary. The Cardinals currently have about $21 million in cap space.

“He’s been great, and I’m looking forward to getting to work with him, too,” Gannon said. “So, everyone that has a jersey right now, I’m looking forward to coaching and fitting them all in together.”

The Cardinals have reportedly given teams permission to talk with Hopkins about a potential trade. However, only one team, the Chicago Bears, has the available cap space to inherit Hopkins’ contract as-is.

The last year of Hopkins’ deal in 2024 voids if he reaches 400 catches or 5,000 receiving yards or 40 receiving touchdowns in a span from 2020 to 2023, according to the Roster Management System. With one year left to hit those marks, Hopkins has 2,696 yards and 17 touchdowns on 221 catches in his three seasons in Arizona, including 64 catches for 717 yards and three touchdowns last season after returning from a six-game suspension for violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing drug policy.

Hopkins was traded to the Cardinals in March 2020 from the Houston Texans along with a fourth-round draft pick in exchange for running back David Johnson, a second-round pick and a fourth-round pick in 2021.

Source : ESPN