DeAndre Hopkins has not yet been officially released
Memorial Day weekend began with a Friday afternoon announcement from the Cardinals that they have released receiver DeAndre Hopkins.
They have not yet officially released him, however. Apparently, the league made Memorial Day weekend a four-day break, with no transactions posted on Friday.
This assumption is bolstered by the fact that the waiver requests initiated on Thursday have a claiming deadline not of Friday but of Tuesday.
Technically, then, the Cardinals could still trade Hopkins. It wouldn’t be the first time a team changed its mind about cutting a player when the news he was being cut sparked a belated trade market.
The problem is that no one wants to take on his contract. He’d need to agree to a new deal, or the Cardinals would need to be willing to pay some of the salary, basically buying a draft pick.
It remains highly unlikely. But it’s still not impossible until Hopkins is officially released.
The far greater likelihood is that his release will become official at 4:00 p.m. ET on Tuesday, at which time he’ll be able to sign with any team. It remains to be seen which team, when it happens, and what he’ll be paid.
And unless the Cardinals decide to delay the move until Friday, the Cardinals will take a $22.6 million cap charge for 2023. They could, if they wanted, hold back $11.3 million this year by waiting until Friday, in the event they might want to spend it later.
They clearly don’t. They want to kick it all to 2024, even if there’s a chance that the cap space could be used for a veteran player who might become available later this year.
Which is evidence that they don’t really care about 2023. Otherwise, they’d keep extra cap space around. Just in case.