The Arizona Cardinals have confirmed the shock news that they have released DeAndre Hopkins.
One of the best wide receivers in the NFL, Hopkins was expected to be traded for a big haul this off-season with the Cards set to rebuild their roster.
The team has appointed a new general manager and head coach, and are expected to be without quarterback Kyler Murray for the majority of the season as he recovers from an ACL tear.
But after seemingly failing to find a trade partner, with Hopkins being very open about his desire to play elsewhere – he has surprisingly been released.
The release of Hopkins opens up as much as $21 million for the Cardinals, who will likely use the money to roll over to next season.
Hopkins is now expected to have a huge market, with the New England Patriots, Buffalo Bills, Kansas City Chiefs and Baltimore Ravens all likely to be interested.
The Patriots are in dire need of help at wide receiver with only JuJu Smith-Schuster being an above average player for them at the position heading into the new year.
But they’ll have to give him a strong sales pitch if he is to sign there, with the wide receiver already insinuating that he wants to play with certain quarterbacks.
Speaking on the IAmAthlete podcast, Hopkins was asked which five quarterbacks he’d like to play with. He said: “That’s a good question. I would have to say one of my favorite quarterbacks I’ve been watching since he came in the league is Josh Allen. He reminds me of a new-school Andrew Luck.”
The star wideout then listed the four other names, with Jalen Hurts in second and then Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson, in that order. As he thought about a final quarterback, he was asked if the Dallas Cowboys‘ Dak Prescott would be on the list, as he shook his head, before answering with Justin Herbert.
And in a further blow to the Pats, Hopkins used his body language to confirm or deny whether he’d want to join the New England team, looking displeased when presented with the possibility of being traded to them.