14-year-old me was such a pain in the ass. Whenever my parents would lecture me about the fact that they'd given me everything - the bed I sleep on, the roof over my head, all of that - I'd say, "Well, duh." That'd be like me lecturing my dog about the $50 bucks per month I spend on his food.
"Why'd you buy me then, bro?" He'd ask. "By the way, can you grab my toy from under the couch?" I'd proceed to get on all fours, because he'd have checkmated me.
By that same logic, couldn't DeAndre Hopkins ask Steve Keim, "Why'd you trade for me if you weren't ready to give me a bigger contract?"
Of course he could. It's no secret Hopkins was dissatisfied with his deal in Houston. He's spoken openly about it since arriving in Arizona. His former coach Bill O'Brien even offered Hopkins' financial demands as an explanation for why the Texans only netted a second-round pick and an overpaid running back in return for one of the league's best wide receivers.
Put another way, if you bought a truck for $3,000 off, because you knew it needed a new engine, would you try and get away with driving it around with the old engine for a while? I'll bet that truck would let you know, that ain't such a great idea, bud.
Steve Keim's new truck is trying to tell him.
"Apparently, Hopkins was less than thrilled about how negotiations were going between CAA and the Cardinals." - Profootballrumors.com
In a sport that rewards stability like no other - especially around young quarterbacks - now is not the time to play these games. It's time for the Cardinals to pay up.
The Houston Chronicle's Aaron Wilson reported on my show in March that Hopkins wants a raise of $3-4 million dollars per year, which would have him earning around to $16-17 million. Even if his demands were closer to $19 million per year, that would put him between Michael Thomas and Amari Cooper, and below Julio Jones. Production wise, he's firmly entrenched in that group.
There are several reports about NFL teams wanting to spend conservatively in light of coronavirus, but DeAndre Hopkins hardly cares, I'm sure. Rules are different for those with leverage. As unemployment skyrockets, Jets safety Jamal Adams is asking for a trade and top market dollar from his new team. A pair of prominent video gamers were just bought out for a combined $40 million. American billionaires have gotten $434 billion richer since the pandemic began. DeAndre Hopkins just wants his slice.
Besides, the NFL mostly lives outside of the American economy (if it can ever get back to playing), and the Cardinals mostly live outside of the normal NFL economy, for now. Kyler Murray is on his rookie contract until 2022, meaning Arizona has a unique opportunity to pay top-dollar for premium talent, while their quarterback is cheap. Kyler's cost enables the Cardinals to put training wheels on him in the form of talent. That worked wonders for the Chiefs, Rams and Eagles in years past.
Above all, Steve Keim knew he what he was getting in Hopkins. A 2018 Ford F150, with 90,000 miles on it, sold for only $13,000, because it needs a new engine.
Hopkins runs just fine, he just needs a new contract.