Texans Trade Grade DeAndre Hopkins, David Johnson


Even by Invoice O’Brien’s necessities, the Cardinals and Texans made a stunning commerce on Monday afternoon. Houston traded away arguably its second-most useful participant, star in depth receiver DeAndre Hopkins, netting oft-injured working once more David Johnson and a second-round determine inside the course of.

Whereas I respect O’Brien’s thoughtfulness in giving us a fascinating swap to debate in these sport-free situations, I actually really feel for Texans followers who merely misplaced a franchise icon inside the prime of his career. Listed here are my concepts on what could also be an important commerce we’ll see this offseason:

Houston Texans get: RB David Johnson, 2020 second-round determine, 2021 fourth-round determine
Arizona Cardinals get: WR DeAndre Hopkins, 2020 fourth-round determine

Cardinals grade: B+
Texans grade: F

My first instinct as soon as I seen the phrases of this commerce was to worry whether or not or not Hopkins had misplaced a limb. My second instinct was to supply the Texans side of this deal the identical grade security Tyrann Mathieu awarded his former crew. It is a jaw-dropping, mind-bending, inexplicable commerce for O’Brien, whose bizarre run as Texans primary supervisor goes to be the subject of a 30 for 30 documentary sometime.

Let’s start with Johnson, who must have had damaging commerce value, notably after the Cardinals slapped the transition tag on Kenyan Drake earlier this morning. Johnson is now three years far from his solely productive NFL season. He missed almost your full 2017 season with a wrist harm and has been a replacement-level once more over the previous two seasons. The Cardinals’ offense instantly obtained larger after they modified him with Drake, who was obtainable for a late-round determine from the Dolphins.

Johnson would likely be in line to get a one-year deal inside the $2 million range if he hit the open market. As a substitute, his $10.2 million base wage is already assured for 2020, and $2.1 million of his base wage in 2021 ensures in 5 days. Throw in $960,000 in per-game roster bonuses and the Texans are on the hook for better than $13 million for Johnson over the next 12 months.

Johnson’s deal is about $11 million underwater. If the Cardinals wished to commerce Johnson’s deal to a rational crew, my best estimate is that they could have needed to attach a third-round determine to get it achieved, and even that may have been on the sunshine end of doable compensation. The Texans have now spent a third-round determine to amass Duke Johnson and dealt away the simplest in depth receivers in soccer because of he wasn’t enough to meet O’Brien’s need on the working once more place.

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In the meantime, the Texans obtained league-average play from Carlos Hyde after shopping for him when the Chiefs had been about to cut Hyde on the end of the preseason. Hyde declined a suggestion from the crew final week, and O’Brien’s response appears to have been the equal of a fan punching a spot of their television after a loss. It may be one issue if the Texans had been shopping for Ezekiel Elliott or some well-known particular person once more, nonetheless unbiased of his contract, David Johnson perhaps profiles as a result of the pass-catching, lower-usage half of a working once more rotation in the meanwhile. That’s exactly what O’Brien already had in Duke Johnson. If one thing, the Texans nonetheless perhaps need in order so as to add a once more who can work between the tackles.

As a substitute of sending a third-round determine to ship off Johnson, the Cardinals by hook or by crook managed to ship off Johnson by swapping fourth-round picks with the Texans. Whenever you take into consideration that the Texans are sending their 2020 fourth-rounder and getting a 2021 fourth-rounder in return, most teams would actually take into consideration the determine swap a win for the Cardinals. I really admire Arizona primary supervisor Steve Keim’s audacity in even asking to swap fourth-rounders; it’s as if anyone equipped you $1,000 in your VHS copy of “Mr. Deeds” and in addition you requested that particular person for further sooner than saying certain.

That half of the deal alone is a disaster for the Texans. The completely different half — supply out an unquestioned, bona fide star at in depth receiver for the 40th determine inside the draft — is by hook or by crook even worse. I needn’t inform you the way good Hopkins is, nonetheless understand that he was even posting huge numbers whereas O’Brien was saddling him with anonymous tall quarterbacks like Ryan Mallett, Tom Savage and Brock Osweiler, to not point out as quickly as Deshaun Watson obtained there.

Watson has merely 9 career dropbacks with out Hopkins inside the lineup, and when an ailing Hopkins tried to grit his method by the use of a playoff sport in the direction of the Colts with a serious shoulder harm, Watson was 29-of-49 passing for merely 235 yards with a passer rating of 69.7. The Texans are caught with a pair of deep threats as their prime wideouts in Will Fuller and Kenny Stills. Fuller is principally locked in as Houston’s No. 1 wideout now, which is horrifying given the frequency with which the earlier Notre Dame star will get injured. Fuller has carried out about 36 full video video games out of 64 doable contests all through his four skilled seasons. Do the Texans now delay Fuller to help pacify followers furious in regards to the Hopkins deal?

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We seen what {the marketplace} for a franchise in depth receiver on a second contract seems like last yr when the Giants traded Odell Beckham Jr. to the Browns. Hopkins has a better off-field standing and has been every extra wholesome and additional productive than OBJ, although Beckham was a yr youthful when he was dealt. The Browns despatched the 17th and 95th picks and a starting strong safety, Jabrill Peppers, to amass Beckham. The Texans are getting the 40th determine from the Cardinals for Hopkins.

You may argue that this draft is deep in in depth receivers and that the Texans can try and alternate Hopkins by using the second-round determine they acquired from the Cardinals on a kind of wideouts, nonetheless there’s merely no method the Texans can rely on to get one thing close to Hopkins with that determine. The Texans are moreover down their first-round determine from the Laremy Tunsil commerce and haven’t bought their first- or second-round determine in 2021, so it could not shock me if O’Brien used this determine to deal with the defensive side of the ball.

Feedback after the commerce have beneficial Hopkins needs a brand new contract and that there was friction between O’Brien and his star receiver. I don’t doubt these claims to be true, nonetheless they miss the aim. Even when O’Brien decided that it was time to maneuver on from Hopkins and didn’t want to reward a pissed off participant who was clamoring for a model new deal, there is no method O’Brien can settle for a mid-second-round determine, to not point out concurrently sending a determine swap to amass a distressed, underwater contract.

Hopkins is a franchise in depth receiver in a league throughout which teams similar to the Jets, Colts, Raiders and Dolphins all have essential cap space and a necessity for a star in depth receiver. The Ravens obtained a better deal for Hayden Hurst on Monday than the Texans obtained for Hopkins. Invoice Belichick has moved on from star in depth receivers like Deion Department, Terry Glenn and Randy Moss before now, nonetheless none was on the highest of his powers like Hopkins, and Belichick was able to extract larger provides for every Department and Moss. Even when Hopkins falls flat on his face in Arizona and Johnson returns to sort in Houston, this is ready to be a disastrous commerce for the Texans in the case of failing to maximise or remotely comprehend participant value, which has repeatedly been a difficulty for O’Brien.

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The solely mild criticism I can take into account with reference to the Cardinals proper right here is that they’ve now devoted one different asset to together with weapons for Kyler Murray when they need to add objects for the league’s 23rd-ranked safety by DVOA. The Cardinals re-signed Larry Fitzgerald this offseason, transition-tagged Drake and now have three second-round picks devoted to their wideout core in Christian Kirk, Andy Isabella and the second-rounder they shipped to the Texans for Hopkins. It’s good to supply your youthful quarterback weapons, nonetheless they’ve positioned various eggs on this basket.

Ideally, the Cardinals would let Drake go away and dedicate the rest of their offseason to plugging holes on the safety, nonetheless this generally is a commerce Arizona must and would make 100 situations out of 100, regardless of the strikes it made sooner than the deal. The Cardinals will likely rip up the three years and $39.9 million remaining on Hopkins’ deal and offers him an extension, and whereas that may make him a lot much less useful in the case of surplus value, together with a very specific experience to the roster is an easy victory for the Playing cards.