Jacksonville Jaguars can afford to pass on DeAndre Hopkins (and that's a good thing)

Dec 13, 2021; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (10) reacts to
Dec 13, 2021; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (10) reacts to / Rob Schumacher/The Republic / USA TODAY

The Arizona Cardinals seemingly tried to trade wide receiver De'Andre Hopkins for several months to no avail. Unable to find a trade partner, the Cards have announced that they released the three-time All-Pro nod. Now a free agent, there will be several clubs interested in Hopkins' services but the Jacksonville Jaguars aren't one of them due to the presence of Calvin Ridley.

Hopkins, a first-round pick by the Houston Texans in 2013, was shipped to Arizona in 2020. Although he missed several games for a myriad reasons, he still managed to reel in 221 receptions for 2,696 yards with 17 touchdowns over the last three seasons. You could even make the case that he would have been more productive if the Cards had had better quarterback play and direction under former head coach Kliff Kingsbury.

Earlier this year, Arizona moved on from Kingsbury and brought in former Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon to take his place. Also, Monti Ossenfort was hired as the general manager. With a new regime in place, D-Hop didn't seem to fit their vision and was dubbed a potential trade candidate throughout the offseason.

Moving on from Hopkins frees up $8.9 million in cap but it also leaves a staggering $21 million in dead money. All things considered, the Cardinals would have been better off if they had kept him for one more season but their willingness to absorb so much dead money shows that he simply was no longer part of the team's future.

The Jacksonville Jaguars aren't in need of DeAndre Hopkins

DeAndre Hopkins could be of service to teams in need of wide receiver help such as the Buffalo Bills, the New England Patriots, and maybe the Baltimore Ravens. Earlier this year, the former Clemson Tiger talked about the clubs he would and wouldn't like to suit up. However, that wouldn't stop other teams that weren't mentioned from pursuing him.

Now that he's a free agent, Hopkins gets to choose where he lands. He should have his fair share of suitors but the Jaguars won't be among them simply because they're stacked at wide receiver. Besides signing Zay Jones and Christian Kirk last offseason they also traded for Calvin Ridley before last year's tradeline.

Not only does Jacksonville has no room for Hopkins but they have also allocated considerable resources to their wide receiver corps. Even if they wanted to acquire him, they don't have the cap space nor a roster spot to offer him and that's a good thing.

The Jags have put together a pretty good roster over the last two weeks. Although they have a few question marks ahead of the 2023 NFL season, they don't have a glaring weakness. Maybe if they hadn't acquired Ridley, pursuing Hopkins would make sense but as head coach Doug Pederson recently noted, the team doesn't plan to make a big acquisition in the upcoming months.
Granted, Pederson was talking about the pass rush but that could apply to nearly every other position group on the Jaguars' roster.

Either way, it's hard to imagine a scenario in which Hopkins lands with the Jacksonville Jaguars. In fact, it's there's a higher chance he'll join one of the teams the Jags will face in 2023.

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