It's been nearly a year since the Houston Texans traded DeAndre Hopkins to the Arizona Cardinals, but it appears that Nuk isn't over the team he was a three-time All-Pro with dealing him.
Friday, the Cardinals Twitter account put out a tweet highlighting how impressive Hopkins was in his first season with the Cardinals. Hopkins used it as a chance to remind the Texans that they gave up his services for, among other things, a second-round pick:
The Texans did also acquire what's turned out to be the 113th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, along with veteran running back David Johnson, who ran for 691 yards and accumulated 314 receiving yards in 2020. With the second-round pick that headlined the trade, the Texans selected defensive tackle Ross Blacklock out of TCU. Considering Pro Football Focus gave Blacklock just a 30.2 defensive grade (out of 100) for his rookie season, it's hard to spin this trade in a positive way for Houston.
Though they at times looked like a playoff team, the Cardinals at 8-8, good for just third place in a crowded NFC West. Still, Hopkins had 115 receptions for 1,407 yards, and his game-winning "Hail Murray" catch against the Buffalo Bills was probably the most memorable moment of the 2020 NFL season. Hopkins is still only 28, and the Texans gave up on the chance to have him on their team for the second half of what's likely be a Hall of Fame career.
While Hopkins may not be thrilled with how his tenure in Houston concluded, the trade may have been a blessing in disguise. The Texans went 4-12 in 2020, with head coach/general manager Bill O'Brien getting fired in October. Franchise icon J.J. Watt has already been granted his release this offseason, while Deshaun Watson has requested to be traded away. If Hopkins hadn't been traded, he may have been stuck in an organization that Cal McNair and Jack Easterby appear to have turned into the most dysfunctional franchise in sports.