DeAndre Hopkins cut loose by Cardinals as team absorbs $22.6m dead cap hit | NFL

The DeAndre Hopkins period is over for the Arizona Cardinals, who’re on the hook for fairly an costly breakup.

The Cardinals launched the three-time All-Professional broad receiver in a wage cap transfer Friday after they didn’t discover a buying and selling accomplice within the offseason.

Arizona made the transfer three seasons after buying Hopkins in a blockbuster commerce with Houston and finally signing him to a $54.5m contract extension via 2024. The soon-to-be 31-year-old Hopkins would have counted near $31m towards the cap this season.

His cap hit in lifeless cash is $22.6m. The excellent news for the Cardinals is he’ll be off the books for 2024, when the crew figures to be extra aggressive.

Hopkins – nonetheless one of many NFL’s elite receivers when wholesome – is free to signal with any crew. His 11,298 profession yards receiving already rank thirty sixth in league historical past.

Arizona is rebuilding underneath new head coach Jonathan Gannon and basic supervisor Monti Ossenfort and maintaining Hopkins’ costly contract didn’t make a lot sense, notably as a result of franchise quarterback Kyler Murray is prone to miss a part of the upcoming season whereas recovering from a knee damage.

The Cardinals tried for months to commerce Hopkins, however his costly contract made that troublesome.

Hopkins had 221 catches for two,696 yards and 17 touchdowns in 35 video games with Arizona. His most well-known catch was a last-second heave from Murray in the long run zone towards the Buffalo Payments in 2020 that grew to become generally known as ‘Hail Murray’.

His 2020 season was his greatest within the desert. He caught a franchise-record 115 passes for 1,407 yards and 6 touchdowns.

For a couple of months, the Murray-Hopkins combo appeared like it might develop into one of the vital prolific within the NFL. The Cardinals began the 2021 season with a 10-2 report due to their high-powered offense, however Hopkins and Murray each battled accidents within the latter half of the 12 months and the crew light, barely making the playoffs earlier than getting blown out by the Rams within the wild-card spherical.

Hopkins by no means acquired on monitor in 2022, beginning the 12 months with a six-game suspension after testing optimistic for performance-enhancing medication. The Cardinals completed with a 4-13 report, resulting in the firing of coach Kliff Kingsbury. The crew additionally parted methods with GM Steve Keim.