The Arizona Cardinals pulled off one of the most shocking trades this offseason by acquiring DeAndre Hopkins from the Houston Texans. It put in place their next franchise cornerstone with one of the top wide receivers in the game. The Cardinals have now wasted little time in securing the long-term future of All-Pro wideout.
DeAndre Hopkins finds new home with the Cardinals
One of the most surprising moves this offseason saw the Texans decide to trade star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins to the Cardinals.
The Pro Bowl has emerged as one of the game’s best talents over the last several seasons and was Deshaun Watson’s primary weapon in the passing game. The decision to trade Watkins due to his contract extension demands remains a puzzling move for Texans head coach/general manager Bill O’Brien.
The star wideout’s new home in Arizona presents him the chance to be apart of something special offensively. He’s now paired with reigning Offensive Rookie of the Year Kyler Murray while lining up alongside future Hall of Famer Larry Fitzgerald. Many have pegged the Cardinals as one of the teams that will make the most significant jump in the 2020 season.
With that in mind, the Cardinals have given Hopkins exactly what he’s been looking for over the last several months.
DeAndre Hopkins inks two-year extension
Since the Cardinals acquired DeAndre Hopkins, there have been lingering discussions around his contract situation.
Hopkins hasn’t pressed the matter, but it’s something that the team remained in constant dialogue with the star wideout. According to Ian Rapoport of The NFL Network, the Cardinals have secured the 28-year-old to a record-breaking two-year, $54.5 million extension that makes him the highest annually paid non-quarterback.
Hopkins’s extension puts him under contract for the next five years through the 2024 season while making $94 million over that duration. He has proven to be the real deal behind his impressive production through his first seven seasons. He put forth five campaigns with at least 1,000 receiving yards and three with more than 100 receptions, and three with double-digit touchdown totals.
Hopkins has taken that to the next level over the last three years as he has earned a Pro Bowl selection and a First-Team All-Pro nod in each campaign. That includes setting career highs with 115 catches and 1,572 receiving yards in the 2018 campaign that included zero dropped passes. It saw him become the second-youngest player to notch 600 career receptions behind only Fitzgerald while also having the most catches through the first six seasons.
Beyond that, the Cardinals have secured their next star wide receiver that will take the mantel once Fitzgerald steps away from the NFL.
Cardinals’ 2020 season expectations
The Cardinals displayed many reasons for optimism during the 2019 season led by quarterback Kyler Murray.
The front office has continued to assemble promising talent with Kenyan Drake having the potential to be a workhorse option. Meanwhile, the Cardinals have only further strengthened their passing game with DeAndre Hopkins in the mix next to Larry Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk.
There are tremendous expectations offensively, but lingering questions remain concerning their defense. They were among the worst units in the league last season, which played a massive part in their shortcomings. Arizona possesses more than enough offensive firepower to push them forward, but it will be their defense that is the determining factor.
Nonetheless, the Cardinals have a bright future ahead beyond the 2020 campaign.