DeAndre Hopkins’ future remains in limbo as the Cardinals execute a rebuild under the new brain trust of coach Jonathan Gannon and general manager Monti Ossenfort.
However, it certainly seems like Arizona plans to trade the veteran wideout to a receiver-needy team.
And one may be emerging as a potential favorite to land the 31-year-old.
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That would be the Bills, who “headline” the Hopkins trade market, per KPRC 2 Houston’s Aaron Wilson.
The Bills would be a sensible landing spot for Hopkins. Buffalo went into the 2022 NFL season hoping Gabe Davis would emerge as its No. 1 receiver. Instead, Davis struggled to perform consistently, and that left Stefon Diggs to do a lot of heavy lifting for the Bills’ offense.
Hopkins shouldn’t have the same issue. Sure, he has crossed the 30-year-old threshold, but he still averaged 95 catches for 1,153 yards and 10 touchdowns per 17 games played over his last two seasons.
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Hopkins’ durability is a slight concern though. He played only 19 combined games in 2021 and 2022 combined, so the Bills would be taking a risk in acquiring the veteran.
Still, it could be worth it for Buffalo. The team needs more depth and talent at receiver, and Hopkins would provide that.
That said, Wilson reports that Hopkins has received “plenty of interest on [the] trade market,” so the Bills will face competition to acquire him.
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However, it’s also true that Hopkins’ bloated contract — worth $54.5 million over two years — could complicate any potential trade. Wilson noted that the Chiefs and Ravens aren’t among the bidders for the reason; meanwhile, Jeff Howe of The Athletic reports that the Patriots are out on Hopkins because of the combination of his contract and the asset cost to acquire him.
So, perhaps the Bills won’t have as much competition as one would think to land Hopkins. Even still, teams may not be willing to give up the type of draft-pick compensation that the Cardinals are seeking as part of a deal.
That could create a holding pattern on any Hopkins deal. But with the receiver market thinning out after the Brandin Cooks and Elijah Moore trades, there could be a team desperate enough to give up a valuable asset in exchange for Hopkins. It could be worth it if the veteran regains his All-Pro form in 2023.