Tuesday’s NFL: Cardinals’ Hopkins, Browns’ Hunt sign extensions

Detroit News

Tempe, Ariz. — The Cardinals have agreed to a two-year contract extension with star receiver DeAndre Hopkins that will keep the three-time All-Pro in Arizona through the 2024 season.

The team announced the deal on Tuesday but didn’t disclose terms. The NFL Network reported that the extension is worth $54.5 million over two years. The receiver is guaranteed $42.75 million.

The deal, which Hopkins negotiated himself, also has a no-trade clause and no-franchise tag clause.

The Cardinals landed the 6-foot-1, 212-pound Hopkins in a surprising trade with the Texans during the offseason, sending veteran running back David Johnson to Houston.

The 28-year-old Hopkins has been one of the NFL’s most consistent and productive receivers in recent years with at least 1,100 yards receiving in five of the past six seasons.

Arizona hopes he’ll be one of the cornerstones of an offense that includes second-year quarterback Kyler Murray, running back Kenyan Drake and receivers Larry Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk. The Cardinals open the season on Sunday with a road game against the NFC champion San Francisco 49ers.

Hopkins has seemed rejuvenated by the mid-career move and is hopeful the Cardinals can quickly become a playoff contender after finishing with a 5-10-1 record in 2019. He’s been impressed by Murray, who was the No. 1 overall pick in 2019.

“Kyler has an arm,” Hopkins said earlier in the preseason. “I’m thankful to play with a quarterback like that who can make any throw anywhere on the field and has the confidence to do it. Just from what I’ve seen, we’re going to have a good time playing together.”

Hopkins still had three years remaining on a five-year, $81 million deal he signed in 2017, but Cardinals GM Steve Keim made it known that the team was trying to work on an extension after the trade.

He had 104 catches for 1,165 yards and seven touchdowns last season. He was the 27th overall pick in the 2013 draft after playing in college at Clemson.

Second-year coach Kliff Kingsbury said Hopkins has been a great teammate since arriving in the desert.

“It’s been fantastic,” Kingsbury said in August. “That rubs off on other players when you have a guy like that who has done what he’s done, focused and locked in. It’s been great.”

Hopkins is the only active NFL player to have at least 100 catches, 1,500 yards receiving and 11 touchdown catches in multiple seasons, which happened in 2015 and 2018. The only three former players to do it are Jerry Rice, Marvin Harrison and Brandon Marshall.

Browns give Hunt extension

Suspended last season by the NFL for two physical off-field altercations, Kareem Hunt has agreed to a two-year, $13.25 million contract extension with the Browns, a person familiar with the deal told the Associated Press.

Hunt, who served his eight-game suspension after joining Cleveland as a free agent, is expected to sign the deal Tuesday, said the person who spoke on condition of anonymity because the contract isn’t finalized without the running back’s signature.

The contract includes $8.5 million guaranteed, the person said.

Hunt grew up in the Cleveland area and conveyed his appreciation in getting the extension on with an Instagram posting.

“Cleveland has always been home to me, and putting on the Orange & Brown has been THE dream growing up,” Hunt wrote. “Being able to make it official, and play my heart out for the city I love for the next few years is a blessing.”

Hunt will start the 2020 season as Cleveland’s No. 2 running back behind Pro Bowler Nick Chubb. But the Browns are expected to use the 25-year-old Hunt in a variety of ways because of his pass-catching ability and could play him at wide receiver.

Extra points

Madden NFL players will have the opportunity to see how Colin Kaepernick might fare if he was back on the field.

EA Sports announced the company has partnered with Kaepernick and is including him in the latest version of Madden 21. Fans can sign Kaepernick as a free agent in franchise mode and put him at the helm of any NFL team, as well as including him on any team in the play now mode.

Although Commissioner Roger Goodell has encouraged teams during the offseason to look into giving Kaepernick a tryout, the 32-year-old quarterback hasn’t been offered a contract since he last played for the San Francisco 49ers in 2016, the same year he began kneeling during the national anthem to protest racial injustice.

…The Broncos will admit a limited number of fans on Sept. 27 when they host Tom Brady and the Buccaneers, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis said.

Polis credited efforts by the Broncos as well as by Colorado residents and businesses to slow the state’s infection rate in allowing 5,700 fans to attend the team’s second home game, which features Brady’s first appearance in Denver since leaving the Patriots.

The Broncos won’t have any fans at their Monday night season opener against the Titans. Their third home game is Oct. 18 against the Dolphins.

…Quarterback Josh Rosen has landed on the practice squad of the Buccaneers, where he’ll get to learn from Tom Brady.

Rosen was the 10th overall pick in the 2018 draft by the Cardinals and is joining his third team in as many years. He was released by the Dolphins last week.

…The Giants waived cornerback DeAndre Baker with the 22-year-old facing armed robbery charges relating to an incident in Florida in May.

…Bears kicker Eddy Pineiro will miss at least the first three games of the season because of a groin injury after the team placed him on injured reserve.

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