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Are Cardinals to Blame for Hopkins’ Hiatus?

NFL: Arizona Cardinals - Training Camp The Arizona Republic - USA TODAY NETWORK via Imagn Content

Let’s face it—-something is just not right about DeAndre Hopkins spending three days at home away from his new teammates and the Cardinals training facility because of “tightness in his hamstring.”

In the video above, NBC’s Pro Football Talk’s pundits Mike Florio and Chris Sims discuss Hopkins’ situation at length. It’s a worthy viewing/listening, in my opinion.

Mike Florio is convinced that Hopkins’ 3 day hiatus from the team was a “Hold-In” and not a “Holdout.”

As we now know, Hopkins has insisted that he isn’t holding out and yesterday he proved it by returning to practice in full pads.

The gist is—-the entire NFL world has known from day one when the shocking trade went down that DeAndre Hopkins believes he should be compensated on a par with the top WRs in the NFL.

After the trade went down, it was largely expected that the Cardinals would abide by Hopkins’ wishes for a new contract.

But, here we are almost six months later after the Cardinals and Hopkins have been basking in the excitement of what has been called the “heist of the century” —-and there is no contract—-and both DeAndre Hopkins and the Cardinals appear to be in limbo or some kind of a holding pattern.

The main question now is—-if one can understand why DeAndre would be miffed as to why he hasn’t as yet received his new deal, are the Cardinals to blame for what’s been happening the past few days?

It’s the old chicken or the egg question.

The optics of a newly acquired star player taking a three day hiatus from training camp for hamstring tightness are not good—-not for the player—-not for the team—-and not for the organization.

As a long-time Cardinals’ fan, I have rarely seen the Red Sea so excited by a trade and the team’s prospects for the upcoming season.

The Cardinals pulled off this extraordinary engagement—-but are they now fumbling with the ring at the altar?

It would be so typical of the way the Cardinals have customarily done business in the past for the Cardinals to screw up the excitement and momentum they have achieved via the Hopkins trade this off-season.

It feels reminiscent of the off-season after the Cardinals lone Super Bowl where the fans’ hopes had never be so high and then for some unimaginable reason the Cardinals’ FO tried to hardball QB Kurt Warner on his new contract. Thus, the Cardinals created an exhausting drama that Warner later said took a lot of the wind out of his sails.

It also is a painful reminder of how disgruntled Anquan Boldin became when the front office didn’t follow through with contract assurances that they apparently had made to him.

However, could Hopkins’ contract delay be due the uncertainty of the NFL salary cap over the next couple of years because of the pandemic?

Could it be that Hopkins (whom Mike Florio says is currently not listed for an agent in the NFL player/agent directory right now) is asking for $25M a year and $90M in guaranteed money, or something outlandish like that?

Could it be that Hopkins wants the new contract front-loaded with the mega-millions of guaranteed money, like his previous contract with the Texans?

Regardless—-this limbo has to stop and it has to stop now.

The Cardinals and DeAndre Hopkins have to sit down in the negotiating room and lock the door until a deal is done. Like—today. Not tomorrow. Not next week. Not next month.

Both sides need to arrive at a mutually acceptable agreement.

The Cardinals have the Red Sea believing that this is a new era of Cardinals’ football.

Prove us right, Cardinals.