Arizona hopes he’ll be one of the cornerstones of an offense that includes second-year quarterback Kyler Murray, running back Kenyan Drake and receivers Larry Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk. The Cardinals open the season on Sunday with a road game against the NFC champion San Francisco 49ers.
Hopkins has seemed rejuvenated by the mid-career move and is hopeful the Cardinals can quickly become a playoff contender after finishing with a 5-10-1 record in 2019. He’s been impressed by Murray, who was the No. 1 overall pick in 2019.
“Kyler has an arm,” Hopkins said earlier in the preseason. “I’m thankful to play with a quarterback like that who can make any throw anywhere on the field and has the confidence to do it. Just from what I’ve seen, we’re going to have a good time playing together.”
Hopkins still had three years remaining on a five-year, $81 million deal he signed in 2017, but Cardinals GM Steve Keim made it known that the team was trying to work on an extension after the trade.
He had 104 catches for 1,165 yards and seven touchdowns last season. He was the 27th overall pick in the 2013 draft after playing in college at Clemson.
Second-year coach Kliff Kingsbury said Hopkins has been a great teammate since arriving in the desert.
“It’s been fantastic,” Kingsbury said in August. “That rubs off on other players when you have a guy like that who has done what he’s done, focused and locked in. It’s been great.”
Hopkins is the only active NFL player to have at least 100 catches, 1,500 yards receiving and 11 touchdown catches in multiple seasons, which happened in 2015 and 2018. The only three former players to do it are Jerry Rice, Marvin Harrison and Brandon Marshall.
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