The Pittsburgh Steelers were going to see WR DeAndre Hopkins in Arizona this season. Emphasis on the word were. Because in a surprising move, the Cardinals released Hopkins on Friday afternoon, the team breaking the news moments ago.
Throughout the offseason, there had been speculation that Hopkins wanted out and that the Cardinals would trade him. But he and the front office downplayed those rumors, Hopkins saying he was content staying in Arizona, saying in early May “Who said I was leaving?” which ran counter to the narrative he wanted out.
New GM Monti Ossenfort struck a similar tune late last month, saying he expected Hopkins to remain with the team.
“DeAndre is a Cardinal,” he said via NFL.com. “DeAndre is a Cardinal and we’re moving forward.”
After Hopkins remained in Arizona through the draft, it seemed like he was going to remain there. Now, he’s looking for a new home.
The Steelers are slated to host the Cardinals in Week 13, meaning they won’t see Hopkins that week. It’s still possible they face him at some other point this season. Hopkins is still a talented receiver and should have several suitors. He recently rattled off the Chargers’ Justin Herbert, Eagles’ Jalen Hurts, Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes, Bills’ Josh Allen, and Ravens’ Lamar Jackson as five quarterbacks he’d love to play with. Of the teams on that list, the Steelers only face the Ravens, seeing them twice in divisional play. Baltimore has added to its wide receiver room this year with Odell Beckham Jr. and rookie Zay Flowers but it wouldn’t be surprising if they showed some level of interest in Hopkins, too.
Turning 31 in June, Hopkins recorded 64 receptions for 717 yards and three touchdowns in nine games last season for Arizona. He’s a five-time Pro Bowler and three-time All-Pro.