Even with DeAndre Hopkins, not many around the NFL expect the Arizona Cardinals to be true contenders this upcoming season. However, James Conner still believes. Hopkins might be gone, but Conner is still preparing for the Cardinals to shock the world.

With Arizona seemingly entering somewhat of a rebuild, the Cardinals could no longer afford Hopkins. It didn't seem like the wide receiver wanted to play for the team anyways. Conner understands that fans might not be too hyped on the Cardinals, especially after the Hopkins release. But the running back thinks Arizona still has an impressive arsenal of weapons and a roster ready to compete, via Doug Haller of The Athletic.

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“Nobody believes in us, but that's OK,” Conner said. “That's the exciting part. To prove people wrong.”

The Cardinals are coming off of a brutal 4-13 season. They made the playoffs a season prior, but were eliminated in the Wild Card Round. Prior to the 2022 season, Arizona hadn't made the postseason since 2015.

With so many issues plaguing the organization, Arizona decided to make a chance. They brought in Monti Ossenfort at general manager and Jonathan Gannon as head coach. Releasing Hopkins was one of the biggest moves in Ossenfort's early changes.

But for all their changes, James Conner still remains. He has ran for 1,534 yards and 22 touchdowns since joining the Cardinals in 2021.

Conner won't be able to single-handedly carry the Cardinals. But he doesn't believe he'll have to. Hopkins or not, Conner still believes in Arizona and thinks the franchise will open some eyes during the 2023 season.