In a stunning turn of events, the Arizona Cardinals released star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins on Friday. The five-time Pro Bowler and three-time First Team All-Pro member will now be on the free agent market, briefly bringing back the NFL's free agency frenzy.
The Cardinals are in the middle of a rebuild and had been attempting to trade Hopkins, but could not find a taker for his behemoth contract. Arizona will incur a massive $22.6 million dead cap hit in 2023 for releasing Hopkins.
Virtually all 2023 playoff-caliber teams will enter the bidding war for Hopkins. For the first time in his career, Hopkins will get to pick his next team. I couldn't fathom saying this last offseason, but I will say it now: Hopkins should pick the New York Giants. Here are four reasons why:
4. The New York market
If you are a star player, and you want to make a lot of money, New York is the place for you. You can make a ton of money both on the field and via endorsement deals off the field. It seems star athletes have recently discovered this philosophy.
In the last five years, major athletes in the sports industry have joined New York franchises. This list includes Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Jalen Brunson, Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander, Francisco Lindor, Gerrit Cole, Patrick Kane, Aaron Rodgers, Darren Waller - the list goes on.
All of those athletes at one point were the talk of the town. Hopkins could follow suit. The Giants are a strange team in that they really do not have "the face of the franchise". The quarterback is generally the face of a football franchise, but Daniel Jones is soft spoken, and does not have a big, electric personality. Saquon Barkley is the same way and plays one of the least valuable NFL positions: running back.
If Hopkins joins the Giants, he could quickly become the face of the Giants. In their September 2022 update, Forbes ranked Big Blue as the fourth most valuable franchise in the world (tied with the Yankees) at $6 billion. That is an opportunity Nuk Hopkins can not turn down.