Hopkins reeled in 64 catches for 717 yards over nine games with Arizona in 2022.

Wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins #10 of the Arizona Cardinals during the NFL game at State Farm Stadium on December 12, 2022 in Glendale, Arizona. The Patriots defeated the Cardinals 27-13.
DeAndre Hopkins could be traded this offseason after three seasons with the Cardinals. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

DeAndre Hopkins has held court as an elite wide receiver in the NFL for years now.

But if the Arizona Cardinals plan on dealing the 30-year-old wideout this offseason, they may not be getting a major haul back.

According to Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer, Hopkins’ reported trade value falls well short of the steep prices that the Eagles and Dolphins paid to acquire A.J. Brown and Tyreek Hill, respectively, in 2022. 

“I think it’s going to be hard for [Cardinals GM Monti] Ossenfort to get great value for Hopkins, maybe even to the point where keeping him is a better idea than dealing him,” Breer said. “As it stands right now, if I had to ballpark it, I’d say a Day 2 pick would be what Arizona would get in return in a trade.”

Breer points out Hopkins’ age, recent injuries, and contract as the primary factors driving down his trade value.

Over the last two seasons, Hopkins has played in just 19 of a possible 34 games. He’ll turn 31 before the start of the 2023 NFL season. And if Arizona does move him, Hopkins is still due $19.45 million in cash in 2023, along with $14.92 million in 2024.

Still, Hopkins is a game-changer when he is on the field. Despite being limited to nine games last season, Hopkins reeled in 64 catches for 717 yards and three touchdowns. His 79.7 yards per game ranked 10th among all NFL wide receivers in 2022.

Even with Breer’s concerns about Hopkins’ age and injury woes, the reported asking price of a trade makes the receiver an appealing target for the Patriots. 

The Patriots are in desperate need of a No. 1 option in their receiving corps, especially a player capable of big-gain plays.

Beyond Hopkins’ potential on a Patriots offense short on deep-threat weapons, New England has the cap space ($32.8 million, per OverTheCap.com) to take on his contract in 2023 and 2024. And if the cost of a Hopkins deal is a Day 2 pick, the Patriots have options. 

New England currently has a second-round pick and third-round pick in place for 2023. The Patriots could have eight more picks from Rounds 4-7, especially if they gain compensatory picks following the departures of J.C. Jackson, Ted Karras, and Brandon Bolden last spring. 

Ossenfort has plenty of ties with New England, serving in various scouting roles with the organization from 2006-19. He was the Patriots’ director of college scouting during his last five years in Foxborough.

Beyond the familiarity between Ossenfort and Bill Belichick, New England’s head coach has been a fan of Hopkins for years now.

“He’s got tremendous ball skills,” Belichick said of Hopkins ahead of the Patriots’ meeting with Arizona earlier this season. “He catches everything. Has great hands. He’s long so he’s never covered, even if he’s covered there’s a place where the ball can be that he can get it and still make the catch. Great coordination on the sidelines. And he doesn’t really look it, but he’s a strong kid. You see him break tackles. He’s a strong kid in terms of creating separation on routes, yards after contact, tough yards like around the goal line, or that extra yard for a first down type of thing.

“He’s a smart football player. Very savvy. I’d say his ball skills are at the very elite level of guys that I’ve seen in this league. He’s up there with whoever the top guys are. The Cris Carters of the world. Guys like that. I think he’s every bit as good as anybody I’ve ever coached against.”


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