Fans had hoped that the NFL would not delay free agency, in order to give people a distraction from the daily drumbeat of gloom and doom from the coronavirus.
Well, the NFL delivered, and the Houston Texans provided the ultimate distraction by making one of the most boneheaded trades in the history of sports.
On Monday, the Houston Texans agreed to trade DeAndre Hopkins, arguably the greatest wide receiver in the NFL, to the Arizona Cardinals for running back David Johnson.
Yes, you read that right.
Making the trade even more insane, the Texans pay the totality of the $10.2 million that Johnson is owed in 2020. The fourth-round pick compensation is basically a push because while the Texans will send the Cards a four this year, the Cards return a fourth rounder to the Texans next year. The only real gain for the Texans in the deal is the second-round pick and, if you feel like David Johnson is more valuable and/or an upgrade over DeAndre Hopkins, David Johnson.
By the way, no one who pays attention should ever thing that David Johnson represents an upgrade over DeAndre Hopkins.
Not that Johnson is a bad player when healthy, but he’s rarely healthy. Johnson had a career year in 2016, when he toted the rock 293 times for over 1200 yards and 16 touchdowns.
However, in the three seasons since then, he has missed 22 games of 48 games and only amassed 363 total carries.
The move represents a massive windfall for second-year Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray, and the equivalent of waking up to find out your house had been burglarized, for Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson.
The Texans, incredibly, gave head coach Bill O’Brien full personnel control after allowing the Chiefs to come back from 21-point deficit in their Divisional Round playoff game last year. Whether it’s being given general manager powers after an historic playoff collapse, or being given a contract extension after defeating a third-string quarterback in a playoff game, one would be hard pressed to find another example in sports, or in life, of a man being more richly rewarded for a more meager record of achievement than Bill O’Brien.
To put the insanity in perspective, Odell Beckham, who is not as good as DeAndre Hopkins, got traded for a 1st round pick, a 2nd round pick, and a starting safety who was a 1st round pick. Bill O’Brien just parted with DeAndre Hopkins (who again, is better than Beckham), for essentially a second-round pick, that’s all. Whoever that second-round pick turns out to be, better be dang good.
Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter @themightygwinn