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DeAndre Hopkins, Cardinals closing in on a contract extension, per report

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DeAndre Hopkins and the Arizona Cardinals are closing in on a contract extension, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. Rapoport noted that the star receiver constructed the deal on his own accord. Hopkins, who was traded from Houston to Arizona during the offseason, had three years remaining on his five-year, $81 million contract. In terms of annual salary, Hopkins is currently tied for eighth among the league’s highest-paid receivers, according to Over The Cap. Atlanta’s Julio Jones, at $22 million annually, is currently the league’s highest-paid receiver.

The other receivers making more or as much as Hopkins (who makes $16.2 million) on an annual basis include Amari Cooper ($20 million annually), Michael Thomas ($19.25 million), A.J. Green ($18.17 million), Tyreek Hill ($18 million), Odell Beckham Jr. ($18 million), Mike Evans ($16.5 million),  Brandin Cooks ($16.00 million), and Adam Thielen ($16.2 million). Hopkins’ new deal will likely jump considerably on an annual basis.

The 28-year-old Hopkins has made All-Pro each of the past three seasons. During his seven seasons in Houston, the former first-round pick caught 632 passes for 8,602 yards and 54 touchdowns. He led the NFL with 13 touchdown receptions in 2017, his first season playing with Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson. Last fall, Hopkins caught 104 of 150 targets for 1,165 yards and seven touchdowns while helping the Texans advance to the AFC divisional round. 

Hopkins will now look to build a rapport with Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray, last year’s NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. He is also enjoying the opportunity to work with future Hall of Fame receiver, Larry Fitzgerald

“Very refreshing to have someone that can also teach you and play alongside of you,” Hopkins said of Fitzgerald during training camp, via Mason Kern of Sports Illustrated. “Obviously, I had (former wide receiver) Andre Johnson for two years with the Texans, but to also have another Hall-of-Fame receiver is great. I feel like I wouldn’t ask for it to be any other way. I’m going into my eighth year, considered a vet, but obviously Larry has almost double that. And wisdom beats anything. He’s teaching me stuff already from the first day. Just watching him, watch how he competes still at his age out here running sprints, just working out is very motivational to see for myself.

“I’ve had nothing but respect for Larry since I started playing football, since I knew I wanted to be a receiver and before that. I have a lot of respect for Larry and the way he carries himself not just on the field, but off the field. And he’s a guy that I looked up to, someone that I called when I had issues with my contract on my previous team and he gave me great advice. And I listened to that advice and, obviously, it’s led me to help my career and be where I’m at now.”

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