Cardinals cut Hopkins, take $22.6M dead cap hit


TEMPE, Ariz. — The Arizona Cardinals released wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins on Friday, the team announced.

Hopkins’ future with the Cardinals had been in question since the end of the 2022 season because of his team-high $30.75 million cap hit, which ranked tops among wide receivers in the NFL and seventh highest overall.

By releasing Hopkins now, the Cardinals will save $8.15 million in cap space in 2023 but are set to take a dead cap hit of $22.6 million. Hopkins had been under contract through the 2024 season.

Hopkins, 30, had been at the center of trade speculation for months, but the Cardinals didn’t deal the wide receiver during April’s NFL draft. General manager Monti Ossenfort said at the time: “DeAndre’s a Cardinal, and we’re moving forward.”

The Buffalo Bills, Baltimore Ravens and New England Patriots had been among the teams reportedly interested in pursuing Hopkins.

Hopkins skipped the Cardinals’ voluntary organized team activities this month, saying on the “I Am Athlete” podcast with Brandon Marshall that he was instead in Toronto to work out.

In his three seasons in Arizona, Hopkins had 2,696 yards and 17 touchdowns on 221 receptions, including 64 catches for a team-leading 717 yards and three TDs last year. Hopkins missed the first six games of the 2022 season after being suspended for violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing drug policy.

Without Hopkins, the Cardinals’ wide receiver corps will be led by Marquise Brown (67 catches for 709 yards in 2022), Greg Dortch (52 catches, 467 yards) and Rondale Moore (41 catches, 414 yards).

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

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