In probably the most shocking trade in recent memory, the Houston Texans traded away the best wide receiver in the NFL for a backup running back.
DeAndre Hopkins, who is widely seen as one of, if not the best, wide receivers in the NFL, has a new home. The Texans traded him to the Arizona Cardinals for David Johnson.
DeAndre Hopkins and David Johnson
Three years ago, this trade could have made sense.
At that time, David Johnson was one of the most promising young running backs in the NFL and DeAndre Hopkins was a wide receiver on the rise.
In 2016, David Johnson ran for 1,239 yards and 16 touchdowns. That same year, DeAndre Hopkins had a tough year, missing out on 1,000 receiving yards and only catching four touchdown passes.
From 2017-2019, Hopkins averaged 105 receptions a year for an average of 1,370 yards and 10 touchdowns a season.
Few receivers were better in the NFL.
In that same period, David Johnson missed 18 games due to injury. He averaged 436 yards a season with a total of nine touchdowns. He played all 16 games in 2018 and still missed the 1,000-yard mark.
This trade makes the Houston Texans worse, just when Deshaun Watson needs help around him. This makes the Arizona Cardinals and second-year starting quarterback Kyler Murray very happy.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 16, 2020
The Cardinals-Texans trade
The Houston Texans are sending DeAndre Hopkins to the Arizona Cardinals, along with their 2020 fourth-round draft pick.
The Arizona Cardinals are sending David Johnson to the Houston Texans, along with their 2020 second-round draft pick and 2021 fourth-round draft pick.
The Cardinals have the eighth overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, so this gives Houston an early second-round pick (40th overall).
The Texans ranked 26th (and traded their first-round pick to the Miami Dolphins), which means they sent the Cardinals their 131st overall pick.
The trade might seem smart to Texans’ coach Bill O’Brien, just because he has no legitimate running back on his team. He traded last year for Duke Johnson, and that didn’t work out. He traded last year for Carlos Hyde, who refused to re-sign with them and left via free agency.
However, he gave up one of the best playmakers on his offense to bring in a running back that has struggled for a few years now.
Meanwhile, the Cardinals add the best receiver in the NFL to a team that has an exciting young quarterback in Kyler Murray, a veteran receiver on the other side in Larry Fitzgerald, and a top running back in the backfield in Kenyan Drake.
The 2020 NFL free agency started today and it’s going to get exciting.