The Arizona Cardinals’ three-time All-Pro receiver DeAndre Hopkins has been suspended without pay for six games for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances. The league announced the suspension on Monday.
It’s a stunning blow for the Cardinals, who finished with an 11-6 record last season but faded down the stretch when Hopkins was out of the lineup because of injuries. Now they’ll be without the 29-year-old for a big chunk of the upcoming season.
Hopkins played in 10 games last season, catching 42 passes for 572 yards and eight touchdowns. He missed much of the last half of the campaign, including the team’s playoff loss to the Los Angeles Rams, because of hamstring and knee injuries.
The Cardinals added a receiver during last week’s NFL draft, acquiring Marquise Brown from the Ravens for the No 23 overall pick. Brown was a 1,000-yard receiver last season and college teammates with Arizona quarterback Kyler Murray when the two were at Oklahoma.
Hopkins’ suspension is likely to mean a bigger role for Brown, veteran AJ Green and second-year standout Rondale Moore, along with tight end Zach Ertz, during the season’s first six weeks.
Hopkins has been one of the league’s most productive receivers during his nine-year career, which includes six 1,000-yard seasons. He played his first seven seasons with the Texans before being traded in 2020 to the Cardinals. Hopkins is allowed to participate in the team’s preseason games.
Elsewhere, the Saints are in agreement on a contract with All-Pro safety and New Orleans native Tyrann Mathieu, according to multiple outlets.
Mathieu, who was born and raised in New Orleans, visited with the Saints in early April.
The three-time All-Pro, who turns 30 on 13 May, started 16 games for the Kansas City Chiefs in 2021 and posted 76 tackles, three interceptions (one returned for a touchdown), three fumble recoveries and one sack.
A third-round pick out of LSU in 2013, Mathieu has 26 interceptions (three pick-sixes) and 10 sacks in 129 contests (120 starts) with the Arizona Cardinals (2013-17), Houston Texans (2018) and Chiefs. He won Super Bowl LIV in his first season with Kansas City.
LSU football posted a video tribute to Mathieu, saying “Louisiana’s son is coming home.”
The Saints selected only five players in the 2022 draft: wide receiver Chris Olave and offensive tackle Trevor Penning in the first round, cornerback Alontae Taylor in the second round, linebacker D’Marco Jackson in the fifth round and defensive tackle Jordan Jackson in the sixth.