Cardinals sign star WR DeAndre Hopkins to record-setting extension

Sept. 8 (UPI) — The Arizona Cardinals signed superstar wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins to a record-setting contract extension, the team announced Tuesday.

League sources told ESPN and NFL Media that Hopkins signed a two-year extension with the Cardinals worth $ 54.5 million in new money. According to the outlets, the pact also includes about $ 42.5 million guaranteed at signing. The team confirmed the deal but didn’t disclose the terms.

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The extension keeps Hopkins in Arizona through the 2024 season and will eventually make him the highest-paid non-quarterback in league history. By average annual salary, Hopkins’ $ 27.25 million on the two-year extension is more than $ 5 million ahead of the No. 2 receiver — Atlanta Falcons star Julio Jones ($ 22 million).

In total, Hopkins’ deal keeps him with the Cardinals for five years and $ 94 million total — an annual average of $ 18.8 million.

Hopkins told reporters Tuesday that the deal — which he negotiated himself — also includes a no-trade clause and a no-franchise-tag clause.

“It’s ownership and me believing in myself and my abilities to study the terminology of contracts and me knowing where I want to be after football,” Hopkins said. “I know that one day I want to be part of an organization to help build it, so I feel like this was a good time to learn and study everything that hopefully one day I’ll be doing.

“I think also just showing players that you can get things done yourself.”

The Cardinals acquired Hopkins and a fourth-round draft pick from the Houston Texans in March. The Texans received star running back David Johnson, a second-round pick and a 2021 fourth-rounder in the trade.

In acquiring the 28-year-old Hopkins, the Cardinals inherited his large contract — which had three years left on the five-year, $ 81 million deal he signed with the Texans in 2017.

Houston selected Hopkins in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft out of Clemson. In 110 career games, he has recorded 632 receptions for 8,602 yards and 54 touchdowns.

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