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Cardinals' Gannon: Hopkins release 'best thing for the team'

Cooper Neill / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Arizona Cardinals head coach Jonathan Gannon stands by the team's decision to release wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins.

"Just all the factors that were in play, we just felt that it was the best thing for the team to play with who we have," Gannon said, according to Eric Edholm of NFL Network.

Gannon added: "It's really no big deal to me. We were operating on the premise that he was going to be here, and now we're not. So, we're moving on."

The Cardinals cut Hopkins on May 26 after three years with the team. Releasing Hopkins will force the team to carry a $22.6-million dead cap hit in 2023.

Arizona spent the offseason trying to find a trade partner for Hopkins but was ultimately unable to, given his sizeable $30.8-million cap hit for next season.

Hopkins' release opens the door for other Cardinals wide receivers to play a more significant role in 2023, including Rondale Moore, who the team selected in the second round of the 2021 draft.

Moore has flashed the playmaking ability he showcased at Purdue, but the 22-year-old has failed to stay consistently healthy at the NFL level, playing in only 22 games since entering the league.

Other wide receivers on the depth chart include Marquise Brown, Greg Dortch, Zach Pascal, and Michael Wilson.

"I'm very pleased with our receivers right now," Gannon said. "If you carve out a role for yourself, we'll use you in that role."

Hopkins, 30, is now free to sign with any team. He has 11,298 receiving yards in 145 career games.

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