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What DeAndre Hopkins has left to offer at this stage of his NFL career

2MA1PNN Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (10) reacts after a play during the second half of an NFL football game against the Minnesota Vikings, Sunday, Oct. 30, 2022 in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Stacy Bengs)

The Arizona Cardinals ended months of speculation by cutting star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, unable to secure a trade for a player whose outlier contract almost entirely broke the receiver marketplace for a period of time in the NFL.

One of the great questions for teams assessing their interest in the free agent is how much he has left in the tank.

Arguably the best receiver in the game at his peak, Hopkins just turned 31 years old and has missed time through both injuries and a PED suspension in the past two years.

Complicating the analysis is that Hopkins has never been a receiver who has relied on burning speed to win. When elite athletes lose a step or the edge comes off their athletic gifts, it tends to be obvious — what was a clear advantage ceases to be, and that jumps off the tape.

Hopkins ran a 4.57-second 40-yard dash and had a broad jump in the 17th percentile with a short-shuttle time in the 20th percentile. He has never won with overwhelming athleticism, so identifying whether he still has what it takes physically is more difficult.

His most recent tape coming in a dysfunctional Cardinals offense in the final death throes of its life cycle isn’t helping anybody, either.

His first game back from suspension in 2022 came against the New Orleans defense in Week 7. He had 14 targets in that game, catching 10 of them for 103 yards.


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