DeAndre Hopkins Says Being Traded by Texans to Cardinals 'Wasn't a Big Surprise'

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistApril 17, 2020

Houston Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (10) during the first half of an NFL football game against the Denver Broncos Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
David J. Phillip/Associated Press

While the trade that sent DeAndre Hopkins from the Houston Texans to the Arizona Cardinals caught most people off guard, the All-Pro wide receiver wasn't shocked by the move.

Speaking to reporters Friday, Hopkins said the trade "wasn't a big surprise" and he had been "preparing for it."

There was little public indication the Texans were considering moving on from Hopkins before they agreed to send him to Arizona on March 16.

NBC Sports' Peter King did float the possibility in his "Football Morning in America" column earlier that day: "It might be just predraft chatter, but two teams over the weekend told me to watch Houston and DeAndre Hopkins, who has three years and a reasonable $40 million left on his contract, and who'd cause only a $3 million cap hit to the Texans if they traded him."

Addressing reporters April 3, Texans head coach Bill O'Brien explained the decision to trade Hopkins came after the star wideout asked for a new contract:

"I would say the deal with Arizona was a deal that we felt was in the best interest of our team. DeAndre Hopkins was a great football player here. He made so many plays for us. We love DeAndre Hopkins. But he had three years left on his deal and he wanted a raise. And we weren't going to be able to go in that direction."

Per ESPN's Dianna Russini, Hopkins' representatives told Houston "weeks" before the trade that he was prepared to hold out if he didn't receive a new deal worth between $18-20 million per season.

Video Play Button
Videos you might like

Hopkins has three years remaining on the five-year extension he signed in 2017. The 27-year-old will earn $12.5 million in 2020, the 11th-highest salary among wide receivers.

Since being drafted No. 27 overall in 2013, Hopkins has been one of the NFL's best wideouts. He's recorded at least 1,100 receiving yards five times in seven seasons and has been named to the All-Pro First Team in each of the past three seasons.