With the acquisition of DeAndre Hopkins, the Arizona Cardinals have made a major step in the mission to become relevant again. With the great rookie year for Kyler Murray, adding one of the top receivers in the league to pair with Larry Fitzgerald should be a boon for the offense.
The Hopkins trade also sees a 2020 fourth coming to Arizona, with David Johnson, a 2020 second, and 2021 fourth heading out of the building. It’s an absolute steal for a receiver with five 1,000 yard seasons to his name and is just 28-years-old.
DeAndre Hopkins is a genuine WR1
With Larry Fitzgerald in the waning years of his career, acquiring DeAndre Hopkins was a great move to ensure continuity and give second-year QB Kyler Murray a target he can build a rapport with. With Christian Kirk in the slot, Andy Isabella, KeeSean Johnson, and Hakeem Butler, to name just a few, Murray will have no end of quality targets this season.
David Johnson became expendable after the trade for Kenyan Drake in 2019. While the departing DJ will leave with a $6m dead-cap figure, it saves the Cardinals $11.25-million in 2020 alone per spotrac.
Johnson has been a major contributor for the Cardinals and will be missed. In his prime, he reached 1,239 rushing yards in 2016, but injuries derailed him in 2017 and he hasn’t been the same player since his return averaging just 3.6-ypc in 2018 and 3.7-ypc in 2019 while totalling 1,275 yards.
With Kliff’s Kingsbury’s offense putting more emphasis on a dynamic receiving back Kenyan Drake is a more solid fit. It remains to be seen whether the Cardinals will look to get Drake signed to a long-term extension this spring, or wait to see how things unfold.
DeAndre Hopkins is a 3-time starting All-pro receiver, and has been top-10 in receiving yards three times. This comes despite having played the majority of his career without a top-end quarterback. With Hopkins in the building the Cardinals are looking set to be much more competitive than we have seen in the last four years.
Giving up so little for Hopkins makes this trade an absolute winner from day 1. While Johnson has been a fan favorite he is old for a running back at 28, and his injury history, and having a replacement in the building make this a hands-down triumph for the Cardinals. With 3 years left on his contract, Hopkins and the Cardinals will be looking to put a lot of wins on the board over the coming seasons.