It’s not like anyone refuses to judge the Arizona Cardinals’ trade for DeAndre Hopkins. There was nothing to judge.
When Hopkins was available to the Cardinals from then-Houston Texans coach Bill O’Brien for next to nothing, and the Cardinals managed to get rid of running back David Johnson’s poor contract in the process, it wasn’t even a decision. It was one of the few moves in the NFL that didn’t take any thought, the Cardinals just had to say yes and reap the rewards. It was practically an unprecedented trade because everyone knew who was winning by the time it happened.
The exchange was everything the Cardinals hoped for, and possibly more.
Arizona, with its phenomenal No. 1 receiver, will play the San Francisco 49ers on Saturday, a game that can be streamed live on the Yahoo Sports app. Expect to hear O’Brien’s name and one of the most famous professions in NFL history to be mentioned a few times.
DeAndre Hopkins has been great for Arizona
There are a few iconic trades in NFL history: Herschel Walker to the Vikings for a cargo of draft picks to the Cowboys, Randy Moss from Oakland to New England, an unknown Brett Favre to the Packers after a disastrous rookie season. in Atlanta, Marshall Faulk at the Rams in a deal that ended with the Colts drafting Edgerrin James, John Elway forcing Baltimore to trade him to Denver and Eli Manning doing the same to have San Diego send him to the Giants .
Hopkins’ trade was immediately added to the list. You won’t find another profession, across all sports, that has been criticized as immediately and harshly as this one. Houston sent Hopkins and a fourth-round pick in Arizona for Johnson, a second-round pick in 2020 and a fourth-round pick in 2021. There was a lot of fallout. It was reported that Hopkins and O’Brien had no relationship, and one of the reasons Hopkins was traded was that O’Brien was furious that Hopkins – arguably the best receiver in the NFL – wanted a reasonable increase. The Texans started off slow this season and O’Brien was sacked, and it seems obvious part of the reason was the outcry over the infamous and horrific trade.
Hopkins hit 100 yards in seven of Arizona’s 14 games. He has 103 catches and leads the NFL with 1,324 yards. He possibly got the biggest Hail Mary ever out of three Buffalo Bills wide receivers to win a game. Arizona’s offense would be lost without Hopkins, their only reliable receiver now that Larry Fitzgerald’s game has come to a standstill.
Hopkins would be a good choice for All-Pro. It is not a surprise. He was All-Pro his last three seasons with the Texans. O’Brien traded it anyway.
The cardinals still in a position to compete in the playoffs
The Cardinals will be in the playoffs if they win, thanks in large part to Hopkins.
Kyler Murray went through a little slump but looked good last week in a win over the Philadelphia Eagles. The defense lost a big chunk when Chandler Jones suffered an injury at the end of the season, but this group has performed quite well lately. Arizona is 8-6.
Saturday’s game is important for the Cardinals. If they lose, they risk losing the last joker to the 7-7 Chicago Bears. The Bears won the tiebreaker against Arizona on the basis of a conference record or a record against joint opponents, according to the Bears team website. The only way Arizona can secure a playoff berth is to win its last two games.
The Cardinals can at least be sure of one thing heading into Saturday’s game: They’ll have the best player on the pitch. They can thank O’Brien for that.
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