Arizona Cardinals Head Coach Jonathan Gannon spoke to the media Tuesday at the annual NFL meetings. He addressed the trade rumors regarding star WR DeAndre Hopkins and his assumption he'll be a Cardinal, reports ESPN's Josh Weinfuss.
“Right now, I'm operating under the premise that Hop's our starting X [receiver] and people are going to have to defend him…He's been great, and I'm looking forward to getting to work with him, too. So, everyone that has a jersey right now, I'm looking forward to coaching and fitting them altogether.”
At the start of the off-season, Hopkins was thrust into trade speculation because of the money the Cardinals currently have invested in him. His cap hit in 2023 will be $30.75 million on top of his $19.75 million salary. As a team, the Cardinals have $21 million in cap space.
Despite the rumors, only the Chicago Bears have enough cap space to inherit Hopkins' contract. The Bears have been very busy this off-season, but a trade for DJ Moore suggests a Hopkins trade is unlikely.
All of the teams around the NFL have been granted permission to speak with Hopkins about a trade. As Gannon speaks to the media at the NFL Meetings, it would be no surprise if Hopkins name was thrown around elsewhere in Arizona.
For now, Gannon makes it clear he intends to have Hopkins as a key piece of his offense from day 1. Uncertainty surrounding quarterback Kyler Murray's return will delay Gannon in installing his perfect scheme, but anytime an offense can trot out a star like DeAndre Hopkins, they will always be dangerous.