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DeAndre Hopkins leaves NFC West for cozy confines of AFC South

Hopkins lands with the Titans in a weak free agent market

Arizona Cardinals v Los Angeles Rams Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

The Arizona Cardinals got the “steal of the century” when they traded for DeAndre Hopkins in 2020, but in typical Cards fashion the ultimate return when they opened their “gift” was more losing seasons and another rebuild. Hopkins is signing with the Tennessee Titans on a two-year deal according to a report by Doug Kyed of The Athletic, months after being released by Arizona when they failed to find a trade partner.

Hopkins finished his three-year Cardinals career with 35 games, zero playoff games, 221 catches, and 2,696 yards. He served a six-game suspension in 2022 and was injured for the second half of 2021. The Cardinals are back to where they were before they got DeAndre Hopkins and the Titans are hoping that he works out better than previous signings Julio Jones and Robert Woods.

The Los Angeles Rams would have never been players for Hopkins’ services but they also won’t have to face him next season now that he’s in Tennessee. With the Titans, Hopkins should have a better opportunity to reach the postseason than his previous stop in Arizona, as the Jacksonville Jaguars could be the only contender in the AFC South.

Hopkins had 10 catches for 98 yards in his lone game against the Rams last season. It was by far his best game against L.A. as a member of the Cardinals.

Though most free agent classes are weaker than you think, this group of receivers in 2023 seems to have been especially worse than expectations. Allen Lazard got the biggest deal of anyone, signing for four years and $44 million with the New York Jets. Hopkins gets $13 million per year for two years, though that number could go as high as $32 million over two years.