DeAndre Hopkins has been traded to the Arizona Cardinals in a shocking move by the Houston Texans this week.
This off-season is certainly living up to the hype as the trade shocked around the NFL on Monday afternoon.
Even by Bill O’Brien’s standards, this deal – in which the Houston Texans received an often-injured running back in the form of David Johnson – seems to be detrimental for the Houston Texans whichever way you look at it.
After O’Brien helped the Texans blow a 24-point lead against the Kansas City Chiefs in last season’s playoffs, fans were calling for his head.
But surely this is now proof that he is an equally awful general manager as he is a head coach, trading away one of the weapons that always ensures they have a competitive offence?
The Texans sent three-time All-Pro receiver DeAndre Hopkins and a 2020 fourth-round pick to the Cardinals in exchange for running back David Johnson, a 2020 second-round pick and a 2021 fourth-round pick, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Cardinals fans everywhere must be rejoicing because pairing him with quarterback Kyler Murray could prove to be explosive.
Murray had a promising rookie year, throwing for 3,722 yards and 20 touchdowns and adding weapons to his arsenal should only see this improve as he grows into his NFL career – he has already tweeted his excitement.
DeAndre Hopkins is an elite receiver in his prime
Since joining the NFL as a first-round pick of the Houston Texans in 2013, Hopkins has made a name for himself as one of the league’s top wide receivers.
He has been an All-Pro and Pro Bowl selection in each of the past three seasons, and has caught 632 passes for 8,602 yards and 54 touchdowns over his seven seasons.
What’s more, DeAndre Hopkins is still at the top of his game entering his eighth year. Last season he wracked up 1,165 yards and seven touchdowns from 104 carries.
The 27-year-old, who has also only missed two games in his career, figures to become the top target for Murray in his second year.
David Johnson was acquired by the Cardinals as a third-round draft pick in 2015 and has proved to be productive on the ground with a breakout season in his second year.
He ran for 1,239 yards and 16 touchdowns before injuries saw him lose a lot of time on the field in the following seasons.
In 2019, Johnson only put up 345 yards and two rushing touchdowns with an extra four through the air in an underwhelming season performance.
That’s right – Johnson hasn’t had a season that puts him anywhere near DeAndre Hopkins in the last three years and he lost his starting position when the Cardinals acquired Kenyon Drake from the Miami Dolphins.
What on earth was Bill O’Brien thinking? The Houston Texans are essentially left with 2016 first-round draft pick Will Fuller, who’s played 36 games in his four seasons, and Kenny Stills, a former Saint who himself often gets injured.
Not looking good at the wide receiver position and after acquiring David Johnson, their running game isn’t vastly improved either.
You could argue that the wide receiver class in this year’s draft is one of the best we’ve seen in recent memory.
So you would hope that O’Brien would put that 40th pick to good use and pick up a top rookie receiver but is there any way that will mitigate the loss of Hopkins? Of course not.
Rumours suggest Hopkins wanted a new contract as he enters the back half of his five-year $81 million extension signed in 2017 and this was reportedly causing friction between the star and O’Brien.
But even if that was true, why would you trade him for Johnson and a mid-second round draft pick? O’Brien is going need a lot more than that when he is being asked to explain this decision to the world.
It’s generous of Texans coach to give the sporting world such a shocking trade to talk about during quiet times but, unless he knows something we don’t and Hopkins is about to lose a leg, this trade makes zero sense no matter what way you look at it.
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