In September 2020, DeAndre Hopkins signed a two-year contract extension with the Arizona Cardinals for $54.5 million. That extension was supposed to keep him around in Arizona until after the 2024 NFL season. But that extension was never lived up to, with the Cardinals cutting the former All-Pro receiver with those two years remaining on the deal.
Looking at a Potential DeAndre Hopkins Contract
Arizona also did not designate Hopkins as a post-June 1 cut, meaning he won’t count against their cap at all next season. They’re eating all the dead money now and letting this season act as a transition period for the new staff and front office to get their feet wet.
But what will his next contract look like? Hopkins is just about 10 days shy of his 31st birthday and has only been able to play 19 games over the past two seasons.
One thing is certain… it won’t be cheap.
The Odell Beckham Jr. contract throws a 60-inch pipe wrench into the operation. Wide receiver contracts in free agency were not lucrative until Beckham’s deal in Baltimore.
And Hopkins has earned the right to earn more money than Beckham at this current point in each player’s career.
Jeremy Fowler had an interesting thought regarding the situation.
“Read I got on DeAndre Hopkins — and why some teams believed he would get released — was $19M salary always prohibitive, even if non-guaranteed,” he tweeted. “Teams that wanted reworked deal at lesser clip weren’t convinced he would take. Odell Beckham’s big $ made taking less even tougher.”
We see this all the time at the NFL level. Players who teams should absolutely take a shot at trading for would rather fight the market than to give up draft capital and not be able to rework his deal for cap relief.
Beckham signed a one-year, $15 million deal with just shy of $14 million in total guarantees. Hopkins’ deal will likely look similar to the money he was already going to receive from Arizona, and will likely have more than one year on the deal to help work around a team’s tight 2023 salary cap.
Teams like the Chiefs and Bills don’t necessarily have the money for him at the moment. They’ll all be relatively cap strapped. However, a team could give Hopkins a two-year deal with multiple void years as part of it, like Beckham’s four void years to spread the cap hit.
Spotrac Market Value: $23.2 million
Salary Projection: Two years, $38 million
With time missed over the past two seasons and a small but real slide in production when he’s been on the field, Hopkins likely won’t be able to reach Spotrac’s market value in late May free agency.
But whatever team adds Hopkins will get someone with five 1,200-yard seasons under his belt and a desire to play at a high level for a competitive roster.