The Cardinals released DeAndre Hopkins on Friday, months after the All-Pro wide receiver first surfaced as a trade candidate. Several teams figure to consider Hopkins as a free agent, but barely any actually pursued him via trade, according to Sports Illustrated, with only the Bills and Chiefs briefly engaging in "substantive talks" with Arizona.
Both teams backed out of talks for financial reasons, per Albert Breer, with Hopkins carrying a lofty 2023 price tag on his previous Cardinals contract. The Chiefs had initially "made progress" in accommodating Hopkins' salary cap number, but the Ravens signing free agent Odell Beckham Jr. to a fully guaranteed one-year, $15 million deal reportedly "blew that progress up."
With Hopkins now free to sign anywhere, Breer speculates the Bills and Chiefs are even more unlikely to land the wideout. The two contenders "talked directly to Hopkins, and liked him," according to Sports Illustrated, but aren't necessarily suited to win a bidding war on the open market.
The Panthers, Lions, Packers, Texans and Ravens are all teams who could explore additional WR help and have more cap space available. The Patriots had also previously been linked to Hopkins and figure to be more logical suitors now that the receiver is a free agent. Only the Buccaneers, meanwhile, currently have less 2023 cap space than the Bills and Chiefs, per Over the Cap.