Many wondered what the heck the Houston Texans were thinking when they traded away DeAndre Hopkins to Arizona on Monday. And while it’s still quite appropriate to ask why they traded Hopkins, at least we know they had some other plans in mind.
The Texans have agreed to terms on a 3-year, $27 million deal with Randall Cobb. The deal calls for Cobb to be paid $18.75 million guaranteed, NFL Network’s James Jones says.
Cobb had a productive season for the Cowboys last year, catching 55 passes for 828 yards and three touchdowns. He’ll be 30 in August though, and the Texans are giving him a nice chunk of guaranteed money.
It’s almost as if Houston would have just been better off keeping Hopkins, who is one of the best receiving threats in the NFL, rather than trade him for David Johnson and effectively Cobb, while not even getting a first-round pick in return.
The Arizona Cardinals and Houston Texans on Monday made what could go down as the biggest blockbuster trade of the NFL offseason.
The Texans have agreed to a deal to send star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins to Arizona in exchange for running back David Johnson. Houston will also send a fourth-round pick in this year’s draft in exchange for Arizona’s second-round pick this year and fourth-round pick in 2021.
DeAndre Hopkins and a fourth round pick go to Cards for David Johnson and a second round pick this year and a fourth round pick next year.
— John McClain (@McClain_on_NFL) March 16, 2020
There was speculation on Monday morning that the Texans could look to trade Hopkins, as they previously had no picks in the top 50 of the 2020 or 2021 NFL Draft. However, the trade will likely be wildly unpopular among fans in Houston.
Hopkins has three years and $40 million remaining on his contract, which is a bargain considering his production. The 28-year-old has 31 touchdown receptions over the past three seasons and has eclipsed the 1,000-yard receiving mark in five of the last six years.
Johnson had just 715 total yards from scrimmage and six touchdowns in 13 games last season. He was unable to carve out a major role in Kliff Kingsbury’s offense.
The Houston Texans are making a move that they hope will significantly upgrade their backfield.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Texans are finalizing a trade to acquire running back David Johnson from the Arizona Cardinals.
Trade: Cardinals and Texans are agreeing to a trade that will send David Johnson to Houston, sources tell ESPN.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 16, 2020
Johnson didn’t really thrive in Kliff Kingsbury’s Cardinal offense, and quickly became a bad contract the team wanted to get rid of. He was owed $10.2 million in 2020, far more than he’s worth to Arizona. That’s why there was some thought that the Cardinals might outright release Johnson, but they found a taker on the trade market.
Johnson ran for 1,239 yards in a breakout 2016 season. Since then, he’s been hit by injuries, and he essentially lost his job to Kenyan Drake last season. If he can bounce back, this could be a very smart move by the Texans.
The Houston Texans are currently not scheduled to have any picks in the top 50 of this year’s NFL Draft or the 2021 Draft, and they may look for ways to remedy that situation over the next several weeks. Could a trade involving DeAndre Hopkins be one possible option?
Executives from two teams told Peter King of NBC Sports that they believe the Texans could entertain the idea of trading Hopkins. In addition to not having a top-50 draft pick in 2020 or 2021, Houston also has several needs to fill and could potentially fill one in addition to acquiring a high draft pick if they trade Hopkins.
Hopkins has three years and $40 million remaining on his contract, which is a bargain considering his production. The 28-year-old has 31 touchdown receptions over the past three seasons and has eclipsed the 1,000-yard receiving mark in five of the last six years. Hopkins is one of the premier wide receivers in football, but he makes significantly less than players like Julio Jones ($22 million per year) and Michael Thomas ($19 million per year). As King notes, the Texans would also only have to absorb a $3 million salary cap hit if they traded Hopkins.
Deals of that magnitude are always unlikely, but the idea makes sense. We can think of one team that certainly has a glaring need for a player like Hopkins, though the Texans probably would be hesitant to trade one of their best players within the same conference.
Bill O’Brien led the Houston Texans to the divisional round of the playoffs this season, and the head coach is being rewarded with a promotion of sorts heading into 2020.
The Texans announced on Tuesday that O’Brien will serve as the team’s general manager going forward in addition to head coach.
A statement from Houston Texans Chairman and CEO Cal McNair on title changes for Bill O’Brien (Head Coach and General Manager) and Jack Easterby (Executive Vice President of Football Operations):
— Houston Texans (@HoustonTexans) January 28, 2020
The Texans tried to hire Patriots executive Nick Caserio away from New England for their GM job last year, and there have been indications that Bill Belichick is holding a grudge against O’Brien over it. Caserio’s contract is set to expire soon, so many thought it was only a matter of time before he ended up in Houston. That seems unlikely to happen now.
O’Brien made some questionable decisions in Houston’s meltdown against the Kansas City Chiefs, but he obviously did enough in 2019 to make the team feel confident in his ability to assemble a roster. Time will tell if it was the right move.
The Texans jumped out to a huge lead over the Chiefs in the first half on Sunday, but Kansas City was able to take back some momentum in the second quarter after a couple of controversial decisions from Houston head coach Bill O’Brien.
The first came when the Texans had 4th-and-1 at the Kansas City 13-yard line. Houston was leading 21-0 at the time, and they appeared like they were going to go for it to really put the pressure on the Chiefs. Instead, O’Brien opted to kick a field goal to take a 24-0 lead after calling a timeout.
O’Brien obviously wanted to put the points on the board rather than risk getting stuffed and breathing life into the Chiefs, but the decision was highly criticized. Kansas City quickly got on the board with a four-play touchdown drive on their ensuing possession that took just 1:27. That was the first sign of trouble for the Texans.
Things got worse from there. On Houston’s next possession, O’Brien called for a very risky fake punt on 4th-and-4 from his own 31-yard line. The Texans were unable to convert, which gave the Chiefs outstanding field position.
— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) January 12, 2020
The Chiefs then scored on that possession, but they weren’t done there. Houston fumbled the ensuing kickoff, and Kansas City scored again to cut the lead to 24-21.
Whether you agree with the calls from O’Brien or not, there’s no doubt the results lit a fire under the Chiefs. They went on to score three touchdowns in a matter of minutes after it appeared they were on their way to being blown out at home, especially after some of the horrific mistakes they made early in the game. If the Texans lose, O’Brien’s decisions will be heavily scrutinized.
The Houston Texans got off to a fast start against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, and a great play call combined with the return of Will Fuller allowed that to happen.
Deshaun Watson threw a 54-yard touchdown pass to a wide open Kenny Stills on the opening drive, and the Texans utilized Fuller masterfully on the play. Facing 3rd-and-1, Watson faked a bubble screen to Fuller, and the entire Kansas City defense bit on it. That allowed Stills to streak down the field without a single defender near him.
Will Fuller getting ALL that respect pic.twitter.com/ieQzxbvAfF
— Warren Sharp (@SharpFootball) January 12, 2020
Fuller missed the Wild Card round with a groin injury, and he has battled injuries all throughout his career. When he does play, he stretches the field and Houston’s offense is noticeably better. Fuller also caught a key pass on third down a few plays earlier to keep the drive going.
The play gave the Texans an early 7-0 lead over the Chiefs. They then forced a 3-and-out on defense and blocked a punt, returning it for a touchdown to go up 14-0.