DeAndre Hopkins is no longer with the Cardinals, released last week after weeks of speculation that he might be traded.
But coach Jonathan Gannon – speaking for the first time since Hopkins had been let go – said Thursday that the added clarity of a Hopkins resolution wasn't going to impact him.
"It's really no big deal to me," Gannon said. "We were operating under the premise he was going to be here and now we're not. We're moving on."
The Cardinals couldn't find a trade partner willing to take on Hopkins' salary of more than $19 million this season and cut him officially on Tuesday, although it was announced last week. There has been much speculation of where Hopkins could land.
It was assumed Hopkins would go to a contender, but a report out of Houston Thursday said Hopkins might be willing to reunite with the rebuilding Texans. It's an interesting possibility, and likely underscores the need for Hopkins to broaden his potential landing spots in order to get a contract for which is he willing to sign.
As for the time of Hopkins' release, "all the factors that were in play, we just felt like it was the best thing for the team to play with who we have," Gannon said.
Gannon said he was pleased with the current receivers group. Marquise Brown leads that pack, with Rondale Moore, Greg Dortch, Zach Pascal and rookie Michael Wilson the top options with Hopkins gone.
"Obviously (Hop) is a great player," Gannon said. "With the guys that we have on the team right now, they present some challenges to the defense, their skillsets. That makes it tough from a defensive perspective. Making sure we evaluate that, if it is the one, two, three, four, five, six (receiver), putting those guys in the right positions to make plays for us and use their skillsets accordingly, I think we'll be OK."
The Hopkins era in Arizona is over, and that's where the Cardinals have to focus.
"Right now, in June, I'm not really looking to replace D-Hop," Gannon said. "What I'm looking for is for us playing winning football as a team. That's not just the receiver room.
"Football is not about one guy. Never has, never will be."
ROAD TRIPPING IN MINNESOTA
The Vikings announced earlier this week that the Cardinals would visit for a couple of preseason practices in August prior to the teams closing out the preseason schedule Aug. 26 at U.S. Bank Stadium.
Gannon said practicing against a good team like the Vikings will be productive after the intrasquad workouts in training camp.
"They have a little bit different schematics than we do, which I think is helpful," Gannon said. "When you are in camp, I know you have the preseason games, but we are playing against (our own) schemes and that will be significantly different for the offense and defense, so I think it's good to get that awareness of how people play.
"It's a trip we're looking forward to. We have a long way before we get there. We have a lot to do before that happens, but excited and grateful we could make that work."
OJULARI NICKED UP
Second-round linebacker BJ Ojulari is the lone draft pick that remains unsigned for the Cardinals. He also has not been practicing. But Gannon said the two are not connected.
Ojulari has "a little bit of a nick" and the Cardinals are just being cautious, he said.
"He's in there in the meetings and he's out there (watching)," Gannon said. "He could probably go but we are just making sure we are doing the right thing in early June."