NFL Draft: Cardinals GM Monti Ossenfort doesn't 'foresee' trading WR DeAndre Hopkins: 'We're moving forward'
Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins wasn't traded on the first night of the 2023 NFL Draft, and it looks like he won't be traded on night two or night three, either.
Speaking after the first round of the draft Thursday, Cardinals first-year general manager Monti Ossenfort said the team doesn't plan to trade Hopkins during the draft.
"I don't foresee that happening," Ossenfort said via NFL.com. "I don't know what is going to happen in the next couple days, but right now, I don't foresee that happening."
Ossenfort also admitted that the Cardinals might not trade Hopkins before the 2023 season.
"DeAndre is a Cardinal," Ossenfort said. "DeAndre is a Cardinal, and we're moving forward."
Reports about a possible Hopkins trade aren't new — he carries a $30.75 million cap hit in 2023, and his play has been declining, so the Cardinals have reportedly been trying to move him for months — but they started gaining momentum over the past week as the draft neared.
Hopkins ended up being an afterthought on draft night, with the Cardinals trading their No. 3 pick to the Houston Texans in exchange for the Nos. 12 and 33 picks. Then they traded back up to the No. 6 pick so they could draft offensive tackle Paris Johnson.
Hopkins, who will be 31 in June, was a first-round draft pick by the Texans in 2013 and matured into a standout, with selections to the Pro Bowl and First Team All-Pro. He was traded to the Cardinals in 2020, which hasn't worked out quite the way the team envisioned. He played in all 16 games in 2020, but in 2021, he played in just 10 due to some late-season injuries. In 2023, he appeared in only nine games, the fewest of his 10-year career, after the NFL suspended him for six games for testing positive for a banned substance.
It's easy to see why the Cards would have trouble trading an over-30 wide receiver with declining numbers, a recent PED suspension and a $30 million cap hit. But it's important to remember what Indianapolis Colts GM Chris Ballard recently said about the NFL Draft: "Everybody's lying."
Ossenfort says he doesn't foresee trading Hopkins, but the draft is a wild and unpredictable beast. We won't know what's what until it's all over.