Arizona Cardinals trade for DeAndre Hopkins
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Cardinals are sending a 2020 second-round pick, a 2021 fourth-round pick, and David Johnson to the Houston Texans in exchange for elite wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins and a 2020 fourth-round pick. 

The trade comes as a surprise on many fronts, with the Texans shaking up their playoff ready roster. Hopkins joins Jadeveon Clowney as drafted players to be traded. Clowney was traded to the Seattle Seahawks last September.

The Texans will take on all of Johnson’s salary. Johnson signed a three-year, $39 million contract extension in 2018. Johnson’s cap hit of $10.2 million in 2020 and $7.9 million in 2021.

Hopkins is owed $14 million in 2020, $15 million in 2021, and $13.9 million in 2022. Hopkins has expressed his of signing an extension to be paid like a top receiver in the league.

Cardinals improve passing game

Hopkins is coming off his third straight 1,000 yard recovering season. Larry Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk lead Cardinal receivers last year with Fitzgerald totaling 804 yards and Kirk finishing the season with 709. Hopkins is also an endzone threat, catching 31 touchdowns over the past three seasons.

The trio of Fitzgerald, Hopkins, and Kirk should excite Cardinals fans, but this gives the team flexibility to ease in Hakeem Butler into the offense while moving Andy Isabella into his comfort zone in the slot. 

The Cardinals must be hoping that Hopkins can transform quarterback Kyler Murray the same way he helped Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson.

With their draft pick, the Cardinals could address their offensive line with the selection of Tristan Wirfs or Andrew Thomas or take a defensive player to improve a defense that was dismal a year ago.

Texans add running back depth

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

It was evident that the Texans needed help at the running back position after Carlos Hyde and LaMar Miller hit free agency. The lone running back on the roster is Duke Johnson. Houston acquired Johnson from the Cleveland Browns during training camp last season for a third-round pick.

Johnson’s production had declined ever since his breakout season in 2016. Johnson suffered a knee injury in Week 17 in 2016 and suffered a wrist fracture that sidelined him in 2017. He played in all 16 games in 2018, rushing for 940 yards and seven touchdowns. In 2019, Johnson had the worst season of his career, rushing for just 345 yards and scoring just two touchdowns.