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DeAndre Hopkins points to stats to back up belief he’s league’s best WR

Mike Florio and Chris Simms revisit the trade between the Texans and Cardinals involving DeAndre Hopkins and David Johnson now that both players passed their physicals and the deal can be finalized.

DeAndre Hopkins made it clear Friday he believes he is the best receiver in the NFL. He has a case, of course, with three consecutive All-Pro nods.

“I would never tell myself I am second-best,” Hopkins said in a conference call with the team’s beat writers, via Darren Urban of the team website. “I feel I have the stats to back that up. That’s my mindset, and it always will be my mindset.”

It stands to reason that he expects the Cardinals to pay him like the top receiver, something the Texans weren’t willing to do and the reason Hopkins is in Arizona.

General Manager Steve Keim said earlier this week the Cardinals want to sign Hopkins to a long-term deal and have opened talks with Hopkins’ agent, Todd France.

Hopkins reportedly wants a new deal in the $18 million to $20 million range despite three years left on his current deal with base salaries of $12.5 million, $13.5 million and $13.915 million.

Hopkins, 27, would not talk about negotiations.

He also was not forthcoming when asked whether he plans to fully participate in the Cardinals’ virtual offseason program. It seems unlikely Hopkins will skip the voluntary program after sharing a story that his new teammate Larry Fitzgerald talked him out of holding out in Houston three years ago.

“Like I said, that’s between my agent and the team,” Hopkins said when asked about participating in the team’s offseason program. “I play football for a living, and I’m going to do everything I can to catch up with the team when that day comes and when I can.”