In what was somewhat of a surprising move, the Arizona Cardinals released DeAndre Hopkins on Friday. The star wide receiver was granted permission to seek a trade back in March by the team. Most expected Hopkins would be traded during the 2023 NFL Draft but that never came to fruition. Hopkins has been vocal recently about some of the top quarterbacks he would like to play with. Whether he gets a chance to play with them remains to be seen.
Looking back on his 2022-2023 season, Hopkins played in only 9 games due to a PED suspension. When he returned the Cardinals were hovering around .500 and hoped he would provide a spark. That didn’t happen as Arizona finished the year with a 4-13 record.
When looking at his stats you can understand why Hopkins was frustrated. He had zero big plays over 40+ yards and his longest reception of the year was 33 yards. Moreover, his Air Yards Per Reception was 8.6 which in large part was due to poor quarterback play. Hopkins will be looking to correct that on his next team as determines where to go next. With that let’s take a look at the top landing spots for DeAndre Hopkins.
Las Vegas Raiders
Although the Raiders already have a star wide receiver in Davante Adams, pairing him with Hopkins could be a lethal combo. The Raiders brought in Jimmy Garoppolo this offseason and brought back stud running back Josh Jacobs. Adding Hopkins to this group could push the Raiders to the top of the AFC. Questions still remain on defense as Las Vegas finished towards the bottom of the league last year in total team defense.
Lamar Jackson was the hottest topic in the NFL this offseason. The Ravens and Jackson finally came to terms on a long-term deal, locking up their franchise quarterback. They also made a splash at the wide receiver position by bringing in Odell Beckham Jr. for a hefty price. They should still bring in another receiver as OBJ will be rusty and is coming back after a significant ACL injury.
The Buffalo Bills championship window is now and they need to push all their chips to the center of the table. This is why I believe Deandre Hopkins will eventually end up in Buffalo. Adding him to the mix and pairing him with Stefon Diggs could be exactly what gets Buffalo its first Super Bowl title. If I am Brandon Beane, I am doing everything in my power to make this happen. If you want to win championships you have to take risks (see the 2022 LA Rams) and grabbing Hopkins is a risk worth taking.