Hopkins sat out the Cardinals' final two games of the season, appearing on the injury report with a knee injury. However, his decision ruffled the feathers of some people in the organization, according to Kyle Odegard, who previously covered the team as an in-house reporter. They believe he was healthy enough to play.
“DeAndre Hopkins upset some in the Cardinals organization by sitting out the final two games of the 2022 season even though he was healthy, per sources. It may have been a sticky situation if he remained with the team until the trade deadline,” writes Odegard.
Hopkins helped the Cardinals return to the playoffs after being traded by the Houston Texans but only played in 19 games over the previous two seasons due to injury and a suspension for violating the NFL's policy for performance-enhancing drugs. Arizona wanted to get rid of his contract and opened up $7 million in cap space to try to retool.
Now, the Cardinals will look to get a new star receiver in place for Kyler Murray. Rondale Moore, Marqise Brown, Zach Ertz and Zach Pascal are his main options in the passing game for the time being, though Murray still has some ways to go in his ACL recovery process. Hopkins should be pursued by many teams in the coming weeks.