New England Patriots

Dec 1, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (10) during the game against the New England Patriots at NRG Stadium. (Troy Taormina/USA TODAY Sports)

By Ty Anderson,

The Houston Texans and Arizona Cardinals used the start of the league’s legal tampering period to complete a blockbuster trade, as Houston moved wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins and a 2020 fourth-round pick to the Cardinals for running back David Johnson and a second-round and fourth-round draft pick in 2021.

Johnson’s move to the Texans comes with 2019 Texan backs Carlos Hyde and Lamar Miller hitting free agency, and with Johnson signed through the 2021 season, with a cap hit over $10 million in 2020 and almost $8 million in 2021.

Johnson’s departure from the Cardinals, who used the transition tag on Kenyan Drake (effectively ending Johnson’s run as the Cards’ No. 1 running back), comes after a five-year ‘Zona run headlined by Pro Bowl and All-Pro First Team honors in 2016.

Excluding his injury-shortened, one-game 2017 season, the 28-year-old Johnson’s 345 rushing yards in 2019 were the lowest of his NFL career. Same for his 370 yards in the passing game.

Hopkins, meanwhile, will head from Houston to Arizona after a 2019 that featured his third season of at least 100 catches and fifth season of at least 1,100 receiving yards. Hopkins, who set career-highs in catches (115), yards (1,572), and touchdowns (11), is due $42.9 million over the next three seasons, but reportedly wanted out of Houston due to his unhappiness with that deal.

But even without a new or reworked deal with the Cardinals, Hopkins seems more than happy about the deal that’ll see him team up with Kyler Murray, based on his Twitter reaction following the trade.

It’s a move that’s been almost universally panned, as the pass-first Texans are essentially bailing on Hopkins for a running back who has trended downwards in back-to-back seasons and an additional second-round pick. It also sees Bill O’Brien’s squad pretty much go all in on an injury-prone wideout one-two of Will Fuller and Kenny Stills. Oof.

Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.