After months of trying to trade their star receiver, the Arizona Cardinals have finally parted ways with DeAndre Hopkins. For some, it comes as a shock as Hopkins is still viewed as one of the best receivers in the game. He’s a 10-year veteran who has earned Pro Bowl honors in half of them. It may seem odd that the Cardinals got absolutely nothing in return, but similar to the Amari Cooper situation, this was always about getting out of his contract. Hopkins was due $35 million over the next two seasons and Arizona felt those funds could be better spent elsewhere.
Hopkins is on the north side of 30 now and he’s coming off two straight seasons where he’s missed time. In 2021, he missed seven games with first a hamstring injury and then a torn MCL. He missed the first six games of last year serving a suspension for violating the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy. He was also made inactive for the final two games of the year with a knee issue as the Cardinals had nothing to play for.
Now, Hopkins is free to go wherever he wants. While the age and wear may not give his new team the star he once was, there is no evidence that he won’t be a valuable asset. And that has some fans hoping the veteran would join the Dallas Cowboys and cap off an amazing haul of new free agent playmakers this offseason.
While there is no doubt Hopkins would make the Cowboys better, signing him is not the best thing for this team. For starters, Hopkins isn’t going to come cheap. This is not a situation where he’s going to accept some low-cost, veteran-minimum, team-friendly type deal. Odell Beckham Jr. just signed a one-year, $15 million deal with the Baltimore Ravens and he hasn’t displayed the same level of production that Hopkins has over the last several years. In short, DHop is going to get paid.
If the Cowboys were to acquire him, it’s going to cost a good chunk of change. We all know the salary cap is fluid and that there are ways to construct deals, backload contracts, and shift money around to make it possible. If Dallas wanted him they could get him.
But we also know how this front office works. They are not the ones to mortgage their future and put all their eggs in the “win now” basket. They’re just not. The Cowboys have Dak Prescott on the roster for several years (he’ll eventually get his extension) and they want this team to have a shot in every season he’s throwing passes. They are not going to gamble future seasons to maximize just one.
The Cowboys just added Brandin Cooks. While his contract is affordable, it will still run them $20 million over the next two years. Michael Gallup is also costing the team an average of $11.5 million per season. Add in CeeDee Lamb’s eventual $25+ million annual salary and the Cowboys just have a lot of money allocated to wide receivers. Do they really need to take on another expensive contract?
Having all four of those guys would saturate the passing game. Dak can only throw one ball at a time, and there’s only so much added value Hopkins could bring. Yes, injuries happen, but no team should be spending that amount of money just on insurance. Additionally, none of those “fantastic four” receivers play special teams so having four players who are exclusively pass catchers would create some game-day roster challenges.
Rather than throwing a bunch of cash at another wide receiver, the Cowboys would be better served to use those resources elsewhere, like say, protecting the guy who’s divvying up those passes.
Instead of DHop, I prefer IHop, as in more pancakes!— Dan Rogers (@DannyPhantom24) May 26, 2023
Let's save those funds to re-invest in the future of this Cowboys offensive line. pic.twitter.com/W1RLCswrIf
Adding a player like Hopkins is exciting to think about, but in reality, it just wouldn’t make a lot of sense. Every decision comes with a price. The Cowboys are already in a position where they are in good shape at wide receiver. If they want to strengthen the team, then addressing their weaker areas would make more sense.