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RapSheet: Cards, Hopkins finalizing extension

The receiver’s current deal runs through 2022 and ranks ninth amongst his peers.

NFL: Arizona Cardinals-Training Camp Arizona Republic-USA TODAY NETWORK via Imagn Content Services, LLC

According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Arizona Cardinals and star receiver DeAndre Hopkins are in the midst of finalizing a new extension.

Via Rapsheet, Hopkins is negotiating the deal himself without the help of representation.

While the specifics of the proposed deal are not yet finalized, it is speculated that this extension would make Hopkins the highest paid receiver in all of pro football.

As it stands now, Atlanta wide receiver Julio Jones owns that title raking in an average of $22 million per season following his 2019 extension last fall.

Hopkins, who returned to practice this past Monday, reportedly had it out with former Houston Texans GM and head coach Bill O’Brien prior to his departure. Their fallout was allegedly tied, in part, to Hopkins seeking a new deal. According to reports, Hopkins’ previous ask was somewhere in the range of $18-20 million per year.

A deal that would top the likes of Julio Jones would need to net $23 million per year and likely run through the 2024 season.

Keim and O’Brien famously met last February during the NFL Combine, as the two were seen out to dinner in downtown Indianapolis. Two weeks later and the Cardinals had their All Pro wide receiver.

Julio Jones signed his record setting contract at the age of 30, while Hopkins only recently turned 28. Given the inflation at the position combined with the leverage Hopkins had following the trade and it’s easy to see how the deal has (reportedly) come together so quickly.

Below is a list of the top paid receivers in all of football, with Hopkins currently tied for ninth.

1. Julio Jones - $22M

2. Keenan Allen - $20.02M

3. Amari Cooper - $20M

4. Michael Thomas - $19.25M

5. AJ Green - $18.17M

T6. Odell Beckham Jr - $18M

T6. Tyreek Hill - $18M

8. Mike Evans - $16.5M

T9. DeAndre Hopkins - $16.2M

T9. Brandin Cooks - $16.2M

T9. Adam Thielen- $16.2M

Outside of a couple missed practices, Hopkins’ arrival in the desert has been a seamless one. He has been the model teammate, often staying late to work with younger players after practice (most recently with undrafted rookie JoJo Ward). His chemistry with quarterback Kyler Murray is already apparent heading into the season opener against San Francisco.

According to Pro Football Focus, Hopkins owns the most consecutive catches (225) without a drop by a wide receiver dating back to 2006. He is a 3x All Pro receiver while missing only two games in his illustrious seven year career. Over the past three seasons, Hopkins has hauled in 31 touchdowns while tailing over 4100 receiving yards in the process.

UPDATE: According to Rapoport, the Cardinals are making WR DeAndre Hopkins the highest paid non-QB ever, giving him a 2-year contract extension worth $54.5M in new money — $27.25M per year. Hopkins gets $42.75M guaranteed at signing.