The best news to come out of the Arizona Cardinals resumption of OTAs today is that Isaiah Simmons is on the field practicing with his teammates.
And then there’s the news that DeAndre Hopkins, who raised some eyebrows recently when he asked on social media “who said I want to leave?” is working out on his own in Toronto.
At the same time, Hopkins is doing interviews and being perfectly frank about what kind of team and QB he is looking for:
DeAndre Hopkins was asked on @IAMATHLETEpod which QBs he'd love to have throwing him the ball. #Bills QB Josh Allen was quickly his first answer.— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) May 22, 2023
Jalen Hurts, Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson and Justin Herbert rounded out his top-5.pic.twitter.com/gtepzf9JD4
DeAndre Hopkins on what he's looking for in a new team:— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) May 22, 2023
- Stable management.
- QB who loves the game (he stressed Kyler Murray does, but he's injured).
- Great defense because defense wins championships.
(via @IAMATHLETEpod) pic.twitter.com/3Mfq8iThC9
Curious that Hopkins mentioned Clayton Tune (not by name, just as “the kid from Houston”) because his grandfather sent him some noteworthy game clips of Tune.
It’s ironic that Hopkins omits Kyler from his top 5 QB choices (because “he’s injured) when last year Kyler had to wait for six weeks on Hopkins (PED suspension) —- and Hopkins could choose to return the favor for Kyler —- especially seeing as he has two years remaining on his contract.
But, Hopkins doesn’t want to wait around for Kyler to return, nor for the Cardinals to develop “stable” management and a a “great” defense.
Despite the 'Who said I wanted to leave?' insta story a few weeks ago, it's clear DeAndre Hopkins wants to leave.— Kyle Odegard (@Kyle_Odegard) May 22, 2023
If the Cardinals are being realistic about Hopkins’ situation —- they know that the trade market for him is non-existent —- they know he wants to leave —- and they know that a player who is not “all in” with the new coaching philosophy of “team first” and “no egos tolerated,” does not give the rookie head coach and the kind of fresh start that he and his staff need.
The first question is — is it worth letting the Hopkins situation linger and hover over the players and coaches for a few more months in the hope that at some point a team in high need for a WR will make an offer for him?
The second question is —- Is it worth holding on to Hopkins with the notion that come Week 1 of the season, he might then decide to practice with the intention to play, knowing that his 2023 $19.45M base salary will then become fully guaranteed? This would likely mean paying him $19.45M with the hope of getting a trade by the deadline.
The third question is —- is it worth letting Hopkins keep training on his own away from the team (thereby keeping his rights, but not having to guarantee his $19.45M base salary), for the next 6 months in the event that the team can find a trade partner at the deadline?
The fourth question is —- would it be best to release him and move on?
The best choice for the Cardinals to make with regard to DeAndre Hopkins’ situation is
This poll is closed
Keep him in hope of a making a trade between now and the end of pre-season
Keep him in hope that come Week 1 he will agree to start practicing and playing with the team thus guaranteeing his $19.45M base salary, but hoping to possibly get a trade by the deadline
Keep his rights and let him work out on his own (while not having to pay his base salary) with the hope of being able to trade him at the trade deadline
Release him now and not have the situation linger and fester, especially with a rookie head coach and a young, new staff who need to change the football culture
I vote for #4.
DeAndre Hopkins does not want to stay in Arizona. He doesn’t fit the newly amended personnel criteria, nor does he fit the kind of football culture that Monti Ossenfort, Dave Sears and Jonathan Gannon are trying to create. If there was a trade market for Hopkins, a trade would have happened by now. He couldn’t even find a trade on his own. It’s not worth the hassle and the distraction to have the situation linger and fester.
These kind of poor PR hits for the Cardinals have to stop: