LA Rams: DeAndre Hopkins headlines a litany of NFC West woes

Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports /
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LA Rams News DeAndre Hopkins
Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

Hollywood, Murray maturity and Hopkins had to sit six weeks

The Arizona Cardinals entered the 2022 NFL Draft with a solid complement of draft picks and what felt like a draft that was tailor-made for their needs. While they had lost a very promising WR Christian Kirk to free agency, they retained veteran WRs DeAndre Hopkins and A.J. Green. So the expectation was to draft some younger WRs and set up the offense for years to come.

Only, Kyler Murray seemed to be throwing a bit of a temper tantrum.

Now, any parent of a child worth anything knows that rewarding bad behavior simply ensures that bad behavior will resurface again and again.  But even as Murray threatens to be a no-show in training camp until he gets a new and far more lucrative contract, the Cardinals traded a first-round pick to the Baltimore Ravens for the last year of Marquise Brown, a.k.a. Hollywood Brown

The immediate reaction of fans was incredibly optimistic, if not a bit short-sighted. Of course, at the time, the Cardinals appeared to be sending A.J. Green, DeAndre Hopkins, Hollywood Brown, and Zach Ertz onto the football field. The problem? Hollywood Brown is a feast or famine type of receiver. At 5-foot-9 and 180-pounds, he is now the Cardinals version of Tutu Atwell (albeit he has a few pounds on Tutu).

He does not add much in the way of the running game, except to run off a defensive back as a decoy. He is not a blocker. His catch rate is a lukewarm 61.8 percent over his career. But former Ravens receiver Steve Smith Sr. didn’t pull any punches in critiquing the former Ravens WR and said what many of us realized. Jamming Hollywood Brown at the line of scrimmage renders him ineffective.

But he was Murray’s college buddy, so there’s that.

So why would the Cardinals give so much value for a receiver with such a huge flaw in his game? Well, there was more to the story. And then, more information makes it all make sense

The Cardinals traded for a veteran wide receiver, knowing beforehand that their own WR1, DeAndre Hopkins, would begin the season under suspension.

Of course, none of this ensures anything regarding how the 2022 NFL Season is concerned. But for a change, it’s a bit refreshing for other NFL West teams to face a new season while trying to handle a full-blown quarterback controversy, restocking the roster, and swinging for the fences with trades.

And something tells me that, compared to the results of how the LA Rams handled similar circumstances, their NFC West rivals may come up a bit short in the comparison.

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