David Johnson will get a fresh start in 2020 after the Arizona Cardinals reportedly traded the former Pro Bowl running back to the Houston Texans in a deal for All-Pro wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.
John McClain of the Houston Chronicle reported the full terms of the deal:
Johnson later reacted to the deal via a post on his Twitter account:
Hopkins also took to social media to share his thoughts on the trade:
He later bid farewell to Houston fans:
The move doesn't come as a surprise since Johnson appeared to fall out of favor with head coach Kliff Kingsbury in the second half of the 2019 season. He had only 24 offensive touches in his final seven games.
Johnson did miss two games because of an ankle injury, but he was healthy from Weeks 10-17. Kingsbury didn't even use him in Arizona's season finale against the Los Angeles Rams.
"Any NFL player, any competitor, if you're not on the field, you're obviously going to be upset about it. ... I have a chip on my shoulder," he said. "Everyone's been knocking me down. I'm going to do everything I can to prove I've still got it."
In February, Cardinals general manager Steve Keim ruled out the possibility of cutting Johnson, making a trade more likely if the team was going to shed his contract.
"Cutting him is not an option," Keim told Phoenix's 98.7 FM (h/t NFL.com's Nick Shook).
Johnson was one of the most valuable running backs in the NFL in three of his first four seasons. The Northern Iowa alum had over 1,000 yards from scrimmage and at least 10 touchdowns in 2015, 2016 and 2018. His 2017 season ended after one game because of a wrist injury.
The 2016 campaign was Johnson's career peak to this point. He led the league with 373 touches, 2,118 yards from scrimmage and 20 total touchdowns.
Arizona's roster has undergone significant changes in the past year with the hiring of Kingsbury and selection of quarterback Kyler Murray with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 draft.
The Cardinals found a lead running back midway through last season upon acquiring Kenyan Drake in a trade with the Miami Dolphins. He racked up 814 yards from scrimmage and eight touchdowns in eight games after the deal.
Even though Johnson's 2019 season was one to forget, the Texans will give him a chance to bounce back. He averaged 5.5 yards per touch and scored six touchdowns in 13 games, so he could become a dangerous weapon for Texans head coach Bill O'Brien.