Hopkins, Johnson pleased with Cards-Texans trade


Wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins was prepared for the Houston Texans to trade him. He’s happy he wound up with the Arizona Cardinals.

“I was very excited, actually, about it because what Arizona has been building, having a young quarterback, a young team and also having veterans,” Hopkins told the media in a conference call on Friday, his first comments since the trade a month ago.

Hopkins, 27, was traded for running back David Johnson and the Cardinals’ 2020 second-round pick. The Texans also swapped their own 2020 fourth-round pick for Arizona’s fourth-rounder in 2021. The trade was finalized this week when both players passed physicals.

Hopkins said he and his new quarterback, Kyler Murray, have been talking and he isn’t worried about fitting into the Cardinals’ offense or meshing with his new QB.

“I don’t think it’s gonna be something that will be a big problem because we’re professional athletes and I’ve been in the NFL for seven years and played in two different offenses,” Hopkins said. “So, you know, I’m familiar with offensive changes. So, I think it would be pretty smooth.”

Johnson also had a conference call with the Texans’ media on Friday and said he, too, was delighted by the trade.

“My initial reaction was I was very excited. I was on vacation with my family, my wife and kids, and we were very excited – a new beginning,” he said. “The Texans are always in the playoffs, a very successful team, and then they have weapons all over. I was very, very excited to be a part of that organization — very thankful talking to Bill O’Brien and the way he wants to utilize me, and talking to the running backs coach, and I talked to a lot of guys in the front office. It was excitement from the start.”

O’Brien, who is the Texans coach and also the de facto general manager, has been widely panned for the trade, with critics saying he didn’t get enough in return. Johnson said he won’t worry about the naysayers.

“I haven’t really paid too much attention to that just because I’ve always, like I said, everyone’s always doubted me ever since coming out of high school. You can’t please everyone,” he said. “I’ve learned that as well in the league. Everyone has something to say, especially with this social media getting so big with Twitter and Instagram and stuff. Everyone’s talking behind a screen and there’s always going to be something no matter what you do. You can be the greatest and someone will have something to say.

“I’ve learned a long time ago how to just ignore that and keep grinding, and keep making sure that I’m as prepared as I can be for Houston. I’m excited that Bill O’Brien came out and got me, and I’ll be ready for them once I get there.”

O’Brien, in his defense, said the team was forced to trade Hopkins because he wanted a raise with three years left on his current deal. On Friday, Hopkins declined to discuss his contract status.

“That’s between my agent and the organization,” Hopkins said. “DeAndre Hopkins goes out and works out every day to prepare myself to get my team the opportunity to win a championship whenever that’s possible. So, you know, everything behind closed doors, that’s between my agent and the organization.”

—Field Level Media