The Cardinals release WR DeAndre Hopkins after three seasons.

The Arizona Cardinals accepted their fate with DeAndre Hopkins after months of waiting out the market.

The All-Pro receiver was released by Arizona on Friday, the organization said.

The Cardinals will free up $7.38 million in cap space in 2023, carry $22.6 million in dead money, and have completely eliminated Hopkins’ salary off their budget in 2024 as a result of the decision not to be classified as a post-June 1 cut, according to NFL Network Insider Tom Pelissero. Arizona would also save $19.45 million in cash in 2023 since Hopkins had no remaining guaranteed money on his contract, Pelissero continued.

For months, Hopkins’ departure from the Cardinals could be predicted.

Kliff Kingsbury and Steve Keim’s departure from Arizona meant that a new management team would be entrusted with assessing the current roster and perhaps making difficult personnel choices in order to position the organization for the future.

Hopkins was at the top of the list of such choices, but new GM Monti Ossenfort showed restraint while constantly addressing inquiries about Hopkins’ potential stay in the desert. We’re pleased to have Hopkins on our squad, Ossenfort always said in response, from the NFL Scouting Combine in late February through this week.

Actually, Ossenfort was holding out for the ideal moment to trade Hopkins. Such an opportunity never came around, leading Ossenfort to break ways with Hopkins before June 1. The Cardinals reportedly held heated trade negotiations before the draft, according to NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport, but no deal was ultimately reached.

Hopkins discussed the subject in a podcast interview that was released this week, stating that stability was more important to him than money. Arizona hasn’t exactly been stable under a new administration, and neither has Hopkins’ previous residence of Houston.

Image: BroBible.com

Hopkins’ predicament won’t become any safer if he’s released in late May. But for a receiver who has won three All-Pro accolades and piled up 1,400 yards in his final season of full health in 2020, it could end up being a gift in disguise.

Hopkins has only participated in 19 out of a potential 34 games over the past two seasons due to injuries and a suspension. Between those two seasons, he has roughly 1,300 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns, but he hasn’t yet regained the level of output that once placed him in contention for regular-season postseason awards.

Numerous teams will definitely be interested in Hopkins. As long as he finds the appropriate fit with his new squad, it is hoped that the five-time Pro Bowler, who is now 31 years old, can continue to perform at a high level.

After being released from a Cardinals club that is in the midst of a rebuild, Hopkins will start looking for his next job.

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