The Jacksonville Jaguars’ amazing turnaround in 2022 ended in a loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in the Divisional Round of the Playoffs. The silver lining is that they have enough pieces in place to return to the postseason and win the AFC South for the second straight year. If the Jags do return to the playoffs, they might face the Chiefs again and David Kenyon of Bleacher Report believes wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins could get them over the hump.
Kenyon drew up a list of trades teams could make to beat the Chiefs in 2023 and suggests Jacksonville land Hopkins. He argues that the Jags should stack their roster with playmakers while Trevor Lawrence is in his rookie deal and goes on to say that trading for Hopkins wouldn’t be a risky move.
"Hopkins, who turns 31 this summer, would be a luxury for the Cardinals. On the other hand, the Jacksonville Jaguars showed this past season that they can throw a wrench in the AFC playoff picture.While quarterback Trevor Lawrence plays on his rookie deal, the Jags should be aggressive in building around him. Hopkins has two years remaining on his contract, so he wouldn’t be a long-term risk if a trade doesn’t work as hoped. Jacksonville won’t find many receivers as talented as Nuk being dangled on the market, though."
Injuries, a six-game suspension, and the Arizona Cardinals’ general lack of direction had a negative impact on Hopkins’ production the last two seasons. However, he was one of the most dominant receivers in the NFL from 2014 to 2020, hauling in 695 receptions for 9,207 yards with 58 touchdowns in that span. Nuk would probably benefit from a change of scenery and he’ll likely get it, as the Cards seem to be ready to move from him.
Mike Jurecki of Arizona Football Daily reports that the Cardinals are looking for a second-round and a conditional pick in exchange for Hopkins. Besides the picks, any team interested in the five-time Pro Bowl selection needs to take on his contract of $34.36 million — $19.45 million in 2023 and $14.91 in 2023 — for the next two seasons.
The Jacksonville Jaguars aren’t in real need of DeAndre Hopkins
This isn’t the first time a trade for DeAndre Hopkins has been discussed. He would most definitely give the Jacksonville Jaguars’ offense a boost but the truth is that there might not be room for him even if Calvin Ridley isn’t reinstated. Christian Kirk and Zay Jones are coming off career years and the Jaguars are doing their best to bring back tight end Evan Engram.
Instead of trading for Hopkins, the Jaguars would be better off using the second-round pick and the money they would allocate to him on defense. They have bigger needs than wide receiver, including pass rusher and cornerback. While it’s true that Jacksonville needs to build an offense that can put points on the scoreboard, they also need a defense that prevents opposing teams from doing so.
It wouldn’t make sense for the Jags to trade for Hopkins last year before they signed Kirk and Jones. Now, he would be an unnecessary luxury in Jacksonville, so as tempting as trading for him, this is a hard pass.