As the coronavirus updates get worse by the minute, it feels odd to yell and scream over a NFL trade. But people need some kind of sports news to take their minds off the real-world stuff, and the DeAndre Hopkins trade has served exactly that purpose on Monday.
The move in question: Houston sends Hopkins and this year's 4th round pick to the Arizona Cardinals in exchange for running back David Johnson, a 2nd-round pick this year and a 2021 4th-round pick. According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Texans will also take on all of Johnson's salary ($10.2 million in 2020, $7.9 million in 2021). Hopkins, who is owed $40 million over the next three years, will only cause a cap hit of $3 million to the Texans.
Naturally, the immediate social media response to this trade was OH MY GOD WHAT ARE THE TEXANS DOING?!?!? Even after taking a deep breath and trying to find an argument for Houston, that response still holds up. This is a top three, maybe even top two receiver in the National Football League, and Bill O'Brien was unable to get a first-rounder in return? Huh?
In the middle of all the freaking out, ESPN had former NFL GM (key word: former) Mike Tannenbaum on SportsCenter to discuss the trade. Let's see how that went:
As expected, Tannenbaum is getting blasted on social media, a product of not only the take but the fact he is the former GM of the New York Jets and a former executive with the Miami Dolphins. Neither of those tenures ended well, though his early years with the Jets were actually quite successful. But people only remember the bad times, like signing Tim Tebow in New York or hiring Adam Gase in Miami.
As for the actual take, it's not that bad (ok, it's still pretty bad). If David Johnson can ever return to full health, the Texans now have one of the better pass-catching running backs in the league to pair with Deshaun Watson. Houston also now has a pair of picks in the second round of the upcoming draft (40th and 57th), though that still doesn't solve the problem of having zero first-round picks for the next two seasons (Houston traded a 2020 first-rounder and a 2021 first-rounder to Miami in exchange for Laremy Tunsil and Kenny Stills, among others).
Obviously, the trade makes a ton of sense for Arizona, as Kyler Murray now has one of the best receivers in the league in addition to having a top veteran wideout in Larry Fitzgerald for one more year. The Cardinals also placed the transition tag on running back Kenyan Drake, meaning they can match any offer Drake receives in free agency, so they'll likely keep him as well. A+ trade for Arizona as of this writing. D- for Houston, but could improve if David Johnson becomes David Johnson again. If not, this one hardly "makes sense for both sides."