Latest On DeAndre Hopkins Trade

One of the most heavily-scrutinized trades in recent memory — the deal that will presumably send star wideout DeAndre Hopkins and a 2020 fourth-round pick to the Cardinals in exchange for David Johnson, a 2020 second-round pick, and a 2021 fourth-rounder — has not yet been processed because the players involved have been unable to take physicals, as Adam Schefter of observes (via Twitter). Of course, the same holds true for a number of free agent pacts around the league, but given the magnitude of, and fallout from, the Hopkins-Johnson swap, the fact that it’s not yet set in stone is significant.

In order to avoid having their free agent signees in a holding pattern, some teams have taken the route that the Bengals recently took with one of their big offseason acquisitions, D.J. Reader. Readers’s deal is now “official,” but he agreed to additional language in his contract which states that he still must pass a physical in order for the deal to take effect. If he doesn’t pass, the Bengals will have the option of cutting him immediately or keeping the contract as-is.

Similarly, if Hopkins and/or Johnson should fail a physical, it would give Houston and Arizona the ability to back out of the trade altogether. As it presently stands, the Cardinals — who are already said to be talking contract with Hopkins — would be hurt the most by such a development, and it stands to reason that they would then push for a modified deal that still brings the three-time First Team All-Pro to the desert.

On the other hand, a failed physical would allow the Texans and head coach/de facto GM Bill O’Brien to back out of a trade that has been universally panned, and while the underlying reasons for the trade would still exist — Hopkins’ contract demands and reported friction between Hopkins and O’Brien — O’Brien would surely welcome a chance to negotiate a more favorable accord with Cardinals GM Steve Keim.

The odds are slim that either Hopkins or Johnson will fail a physical. Hopkins has been the picture of health in his seven-year career, and while the same cannot be said for Johnson, he at least appeared to be 100% at the end of the 2019 season (even if his playing time was slashed). More likely than not, the trade will go through and Texans fans will remain bitter about it, but until it becomes official, it’s a situation worth monitoring.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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59 comments on “Latest On DeAndre Hopkins Trade

      • letmeclearmythroat74

        I am not a fan of either team. Therefore not biased in my opinion. I think ,if both players are healthy there will be minimal difference in yards from scrimmage between Hopkins and DJ. People forgot just how good he was. He ran in to some injuries , and a bad scheme fit. I think he has something to prove and will be this years sleeper stud. I don’t like players that don’t want to honor the contract they signed. I think this trade is so overhyped and will show to be fairly even when it’s all said and done.

        • keyser_soze

          You “Don’t like that players don’t want to honor the contract the signed”. NOW…. do the owners. Thanks in advance

            • Appalachian_Outlaw

              He’s pointing out how teams can cut players at will, and half the time pay them nothing. He’s asking the other commenter if that also bothers him; which it also should, if he’s a staunch supporter of honoring contracts

            • @Dodgethis: Kaiser’s comment makes perfect sense. If you don’t like the players that back out of deals they signed, you better be chastising the owners who do the same.

              Players holding out happens only a handful of times each offseason. Players get cut hundreds of times every offseason. Why won’t the owners honor the contract they signed?

              • letmeclearmythroat74

                Because the players signed a contract where it was written in said contract that the owners could do that … the owners did nothing outside of the contract. It would be like owners going public stomping their feet and screaming for the player to take less money when they don’t perform to the level of the contract. No, most of them sit quietly and chalk it up to a bad deal … it’s the sense of entitlement by the players.

        • Matthew Heywood

          An older injury prone RB won’t rebound try to know what you are talking about

          • keyser_soze

            He doesn’t know anything. He was healthy most of last year, but got beat out by Kenyon Drake. If anything, he might be a better receiver than runner.

  1. king beas

    If this was in my fantasy league it would’ve been vetoed within the hour it was made. One of the most lopsided trades I can remember I think the nfl should’ve stepped in

    • Senioreditor

      Stepped in? That’s was the best offer they received. Fantasy points does not equal successful teammate. There’s a reason why they could only get what they got. O’Brien’s no idiot and either are the other 32 GM’s.

      • martevious

        They could have got a better offer than that. O’Brien wasn’t patient. There are/were a lot of teams looking for receivers. And I disagree with you….this isn’t the first deal that O’Brien has made that has left people scratching their heads….as far as GM’s go, he IS an idiot

        • Lars MacDonald

          I agree.
          How about the Tunsil trade as well?
          Tunsil, Stills, and a fourth for 2 firsts, a second, and Davenport.
          Tunsil is really great, but only had two years left on his rookie deal.
          Miami was also looking to shed Stills’ salary at the time of the trade.
          And, because O’Brien didn’t negotiate an extension at the time of the trade, Tunsil now has all the leverage for his next contract.

      • Appalachian_Outlaw

        I beg to differ. O’Brien is an idiot, and he’s in way over his head with this GM gig. Sometimes you do have to take a stand with players, but you also can’t let your personal feelings cloud your judgement. It’s insane to think he traded away an elite wideout, got almost nothing back in terms of picks, AND took on an awful contract at the most volatile position in the game.

        I also don’t see where he’s that great of a coach, but I suppose that could be argued.

      • DarkSide830

        if that was the best offer they got then they shouldn’t have traded him. no doubt O’Brien woke up that day witha single voice message from the Cards of a lowball offer and figured he might as well accept.

    • braveshomer

      I know right…in terms of fantasy he traded a top 3 receiver in the league for a backup running back….
      oh wait, he just did that in real life too smh

      • king beas

        I understand fantasy and real football are different my point was the value going one way compared to the value going the other way was lopsided enough that I don’t think people would’ve complained if it was vetoed

        • braveshomer

          oh I agree with you…look what the Vikings got for Diggs! Diggs is great be he’s second tier compared Hopkins. BOB should’ve at least got what the Vikings got especially considering they were both disgruntled already on large contracts. That trade made this one look even worse

    • loota.

      And if I was in your fantasy league and you vetoed a trade you would have one vacant owner immediately as well.

      • Matthew Heywood

        Losing one owner is better than the whole league I would have vetoed it in my league too

  2. braveshomer

    I was a fan of BOB after taking over at Penn State after that horrible situation….but BOB the GM of the Texans? ehhh not so much lol……He’s gonna keep wasting Deshaun Watson prime years if something doesn’t change quickly

    • Appalachian_Outlaw

      If I’m Watson, I’d try to leverage for a trade if the organization won’t make a leadership change. Calvin Johnson would be a great guy to ask what being an all-time great gets you on a directionless ship. It’s not worth it.

      • braveshomer

        yep exactly….my son and I are both huge fans of Watson. Wanna see him succeed and O’Brien is not the answer at the moment seems like

  3. phillyballers

    Here is why BOB needs to be fired and it’s the Only reason. He has made it personal with players, to the point he cannot negotiate with them on a deal.

    That’s the primary function of a GM, negotiating deals with players. So if he can’t do that, he should be fired as GM, not as coach but as GM. He can coach, but dividing his efforts between GM and Coach he can’t do it.

    Right now they could have Clowney back in the fold, traded away for some okay pieces and got him back, but there is no negotiation to be had. Hopkins, that relationship is apparently trashed to the point they cant iron out some wrinkles into his current contract. Literally could have just made it incentive based with ranging escalators from easy to hard if they were worried about doing some extension past this year.

    • Michael Chaney

      I’m a firm believer that coaches shouldn’t have the final say on personnel decisions. This is the worst case scenario, but in general I don’t think roster moves should be made by coaches who are just trying to save their job with win-now moves.

      (Belichick is an exception.)

      • crosseyedlemon

        Is it actually better having a GM who is trying to save his job making the decisions? Mike Maccagnan put the current Jets FO in a terrible spot by overpaying for Bell.

        • braveshomer

          Maccagnan put the Jets in a terrible spot by hiring Gase first and foremost lol

          • crosseyedlemon

            They could get rid of Gase without eating a huge amount of dead cap but that wouldn’t be the case with Bell.

    • rocky7

      Having BOB as both Coach and GM does him in a definitively bad position when he must decide between his mindset as a coach and carryout the business end of the Texans….however, Hopkins did sign the original contract and then wanted it re-negotiated with 3 years to go….he didn’t complain when he signed it and was one of the highest Wideouts in the league…apparently doesn’t understand that markets change and especially with the cap going up there was going to be an escalation in salaries…especially in the top talent guys of which he is undoubtedly one…..I guess a contract isn’t a contract anymore….Is 1 player that much more entitled to special treatment than the entire team..what happens when the next player who has a great year wants to re-negotiate with years left on his deal just because…BOB should have gotten a better return no doubt but lets not make Hopkins a martyr as if he was working for scraps.

      • phillyballers

        Players sign LT deals to get more guaranteed money, and teams sign LT deals to spread the money over the cap. Players can get cut at any point, teams will restructure and ask them to take pay cuts. But if a player put plays their contract its viewed as “hes on a very team friendly deal”. Their only route to renegotiate is to hold out or get traded and negotiate with a new team.

  4. dcahen

    I’m not a Texans or Cardinals fan, but now I’m not a DeAndre Hopkins fan either. He signed a contract in good faith, wanted & got a 5 year, long term, deal. Now because the market changes some, he sees other WR’s getting more & he wants more. Too bad, you signed your lucrative deal at the time; if you started to stink up the place, would you still want the same money or a renegotiated pay cut. I can’t stand players who are so full of themselves that they don’t care how much of a cancer they are to the team. Another Antonio Brown in the making. I wouldn’t give him a penny more if I’m Arizona. New team, new year, earn it; we’ll talk in a couple years, now shut up & play.

      • rocky7

        Its not slavery…guess you don’t understand the meaning of the word….players get paid very handsomely, and most can’t order a meal at a restaurant without their “handlers”. Nobody forced them to play professional football and they don’t get to make up the rules…if you don’t like it don’t play….He has a choice not to play football if you don’t like the way the game is set up or the ownership thing…..go pick up garbage or work in a manufacturing facility of some kind….many of these guys have no idea what its like to actually be a member of society just making a living…they make more in a year than many in a lifetime….
        Hey, if your think the slavery thing would work for you….walk into your job tomorrow and tell you boss that you want to re-negotiate your salary because you think you’re underpaid and threaten to not work until he/she does so….let us know how that works out for you okay!

        • BaseballFuries

          Why do people like you never focus the same vitriol on owners and front offices? It boggles the mind.

          • rocky7

            Because its their league not the players…without the owners you don’t have a league……and nobody is giving the owners and front offices a pass..
            Did you actually read what I said?…
            Its about a contract being a contract…like I said, walk into work tomorrow and tell them you don’t like your job or salary….let us know how that works for you.

            • ChiTownFanTilDeath

              I shouted that exact same thing this past Friday. Stood in the middle for the entire office and told them off.
              Unfortunately the entire staff is currently working remotely, so there was no one around to hear me. So no raise.

              That’s how it worked out for me, maybe you will have better luck.

            • keyser_soze

              Yea… the networks/fans pay handsomely to see the owners play. Take those players away and see who’s league it is

            • Contracts are renegotiated all the time. (Ask some of the tradesmen who contracted with Trump.)

              It’s also weird to compare pro athletes with ordinary people. In the end, I can be replaced, but there aren’t an infinite supply of NFL caliber WRs.

            • @rocky: “Because its their league not the players…without the owners you don’t have a league”

              lmao, not at all. Owners are just people with money. There are tons of those. Almost no one cares who their team’s owner is unless they’re really good or really bad.

              Without the players, you’ve got arena football or the XFL. The NFL has tried replacement players before and it stunk. No one would care if you replaced the owners with other supremely rich people.

        • cyyoung24

          If any employee feels underpaid relative to others in their field, especially those who are less productive; you have every right to renegotiate your contract or find another employer that will pay you your market value.
          Add the fact the these guys salaries are for some reason public information and you know exactly how much your coworkers are making compared to you…yeah, I’d be the same way. F-you, pay me.
          Garbage man, customer service, NFL WR, doesn’t matter. Stand up for your damn self.

    • braveshomer

      I use to have this mindset….not the slavery mind set dynamite drop above is trying to be an instigator with….but the mind set that the players sign big time deals only to whine about getting paid more down the road seems ridiculous. But when you realize how often the Teams approach players to take pay-cuts or restructure their current deal, I’d venture to say that happens way more often than these top tier players wanting more money. Wanting more money just gets the better headlines….it’s literally an even playing field in that regard and contracts aren’t simply set in stone anymore

      • rocky7

        Well if contracts aren’t simply set in stone, then let me try this on you….next time you’re getting your roof replaced….and you’ve agreed to a price with your roofer whether written or handshake….what if he tears the roof off and then tells you he can’t to the job for the price you had agreed to….what would you tell your wife and kids….you have no roof over your house so would you insist you had a contract or would you agree that your agreement was “fluid” and not set in stone and agree to a new price…..athletes don’t get to ignore the same rules, like contracts, that we in real life have to abide by ..that’s my only point…

        • braveshomer

          well the Owners, Front Offices and the Players have all created that environment…they all get to ignore Contract rules that most of us in the real world have to abide by. They created that giant rabbit hole and that’s on them…our outside rules dont apply and we shouldn’t be upset when Players want more money nor when Teams want to pay less than their current contracts.

          • Appalachian_Outlaw

            Thank you, Braveshomer. Anyone who believes a contract is ironclad, ok, fine. You rarely see those people speak up though when an underperforming player is cut. The street must be 2 ways. They created a different sort of system though, apart from the norm; and both parties are entitled to maneuver within it.

        • braveshomer

          NFL is a mult-billion dollar a year corporation with the Owners all being billionaires and all the employees being millionaires…our little ‘outside rules’ need not apply lol

        • Matthew Heywood

          You are comparing apples to oranges here but contractors do this all the time to people and why it is important to find a good one . A lot of contractors use the next job to pay for the current one and do leave jobs not complete . You obviously have never dealt with one it can be a nightmare

    • martevious

      Hopkins is no Antonio Brown. The power, the leverage, in contracts, generally belongs to the team. Yes, the player signed a contract, and yes, he gets what was guaranteed; but, the team can cut the player at any time and, it doesn’t matter how long the contract was for, he loses every cent that wasn’t guaranteed. Football’s contract set-up is archaic.

    • phillyballers

      Dude the TEAM wanted a 5 yr deal to spread the guaranteed money and cap. Players only sign them bc teams rarely do Cousins 3 yr fully guaranteed deals.

    • elscorcho the marlin
      elscorcho the marlin

      So, if you are working at your job, and your particular job in whatever industry you’re in has more of a demand and pay, you wouldn’t ask for a raise? Especially, if you’re one of the best at your job? This is America, man. We are a capitalist society. Nuk is doing what’s right according to the standards of thus society.

    • Matthew Heywood

      NFL teams can and do cut players at anytime so why should players not try to get more while they still have power because once he is old or injured the nfl will kick him to the curb

  5. TJECK109

    O’Brien could back out of this bad trade, only to make one that is worse.

  6. Appalachian_Outlaw

    I’m going to offer Bill O’Brien $5 for his house. By the time we finish negotiations, I figure he’ll throw in his car and take my garbage if I throw in a few quarters.

  7. Lefty_Orioles_Fan

    I don’t know what to say about this trade except why didn’t the Raiders jump all over this Hopkins trade? They need a star W/R badly and Hopkins is a big time WR

  8. BOB could have done way better than that. I don’t really think that needs to be debated. Many teams would have happily traded for Hopkins and given him a new contract. He’s a 3 time all pro and still playing at a very high level. David Johnson was benched in 2019 and injured all 2018. Theres noting to miss here. BOB was just fleeced.

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