Arizona Cardinals, NFL Free Agency, NFL Rumors

DeAndre Hopkins contract expectations: Here’s what star WR wants in free agency

DeAndre Hopkins could play for your favorite NFL team, but he won’t be coming cheap either.

If an NFL team wants to sign new free agent wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, it better pony up some cold, hard cash, bruh!

After being released by the Arizona Cardinals last week, the soon-to-be 31-year-old wideout from Clemson will be looking to play for his third professional franchise. While he is a five-time Pro Bowler and a three-time All-Pro, it has been a few years since Hopkins played up to his standard. Arizona was a bad team last season. It may have been an anomaly for the usually steady receiver.

However, what Hopkins is supposedly commanding on the open market, as well as who he is choosing to associate himself with as a free agent, could turn even more teams off signing him. Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio reports Hopkins expects to be paid handsomely on the open market. The issue is nobody wanted to trade for him when he was making $14 million last year.

Factor in that he is supposedly having Saint Omni working behind the scenes, and this could rub even more teams the wrong way. The NFL has told teams to not work with Omni or any other uncertified agents who have collaborated with guys like Roquan Smith and Laremy Tunsil in the past. We know that Hopkins has a quarterback wishlist, but it could be a while before he signs.

$20 million annually would get Hopkins into the top-11 range for AAV at his position group.

DeAndre Hopkins contract demands means he could be waiting for a while

If Hopkins wants top-five AAV for a wide receiver on his new deal, that would cost his new team probably around $26 million annually. Where it stands now, only the Carolina Panthers and the Chicago Bears could afford him. If we want to kick it down to $20 million AAV, three other teams could afford him: The Indianapolis Colts, the Detroit Lions and guess what? The Arizona Cardinals!

Of those five teams, only Detroit and possibly Carolina are playoff contenders. Detroit can win the NFC North, while Carolina really only has a shot because the NFC South is putrid. You also have to consider this about the Bears in the equation. Didn’t Smith play for them? Oh, yeah. He did! My best guess is the Bears don’t want to get into the Saint Omni business again with D-Hop.

Overall, this is really complicated and Hopkins’ release could not come at a worse time. Yes, there are other free agents of note out there, but there is not enough cash to go around at this point in the league year. Surely, a savvy front office will do some creative accounting to get him on their team, but the market for Hopkins is probably nowhere near as robust as people would think it is.

Simply put, Hopkins will have to take less money on a back-loaded deal to play for any contender.

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