Let the annual claims about an NFL team already tanking ahead of the 2023 regular season begin.
On Friday afternoon, the Arizona Cardinals stunned many when they released five-time Pro Bowl wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins from his contract. The 30-year-old was entering the final season of his deal and had been the subject of trade rumors leading up to his release.
The Cardinals finished 30th in the league standings last year with a 4-13 record. With starting quarterback Kyler Murray expected to miss several games recovering from a torn ACL he suffered last December, Arizona is a trendy pick to win the first overall pick next year.
With Arizona opting to release Hopkins, many NFL fans took to Twitter and accused the Cardinals of beginning the tank job.
Right now, USC quarterback and 2022 Heisman Trophy winner Caleb Williams is the front-runner to go first overall in next year’s draft. If Arizona were to win the first overall pick, they’d have to decide between choosing Williams or keeping Murray.
The Cardinals also lost their top two edge rushers in Zach Allen (signed with the Denver Broncos) and J.J. Watt (retirement) this offseason, along with starting cornerback Byron Murphy (signed with the Minnesota Vikings).
Throw in Hopkins’ departure and Murray’s injury that will likely keep him sidelined, and you indeed have a team that has the best chance of earning the first overall pick next year.
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