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Cardinals officially release DeAndre Hopkins

Mike Florio and Chris Simms play a round of “Fill in the Blank” for remaining notable free agents, discussing best fits for DeAndre Hopkins, Jadeveon Clowney, Leonard Floyd and more.

They said they were doing it four days ago. They finally did it today.

The Cardinals officially have released receiver DeAndre Hopkins.

Hopkins instantly becomes a free agent, able to sign with any team. All eyes will be on the Bills and Chiefs, who can both help themselves and hurt the other by acquiring Hopkins.

The Cardinals have helped themselves to a full $22.6 million dead-money charge by cutting Hopkins today instead of Friday, when a release would have split the cap hit between two years and created $11.3 million in cap space for the current year.

It’s clear evidence that the Cardinals don’t care about making the team as good as it can be this season. Otherwise, they would have kept the $11.3 million around in the event an opportunity to sign a difference-maker came up later. If not, they could could have rolled the full $11.3 million into 2024.

Now, if/when a player who could make a real difference for the Cardinals gets unexpectedly cut before Week One, the Cardinals can cite lack of cap space to support their lack of interest -- even though they could have easily kept an extra $11.3 million around for 2023.