Colts' Darius Leonard Says He's Happy DeAndre Hopkins Was Traded out of Division

Megan ArmstrongSenior Analyst IIApril 19, 2020

Houston Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins celebrates with fans after an NFL wild-card playoff football game against the Buffalo Bills Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020, in Houston. The Texans won 22-19 in overtime. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke)
Michael Wyke/Associated Press

Indianapolis Colts linebacker Darius Leonard won't miss DeAndre Hopkins in the AFC South.

The Houston Texans surprisingly traded Hopkins, a three-time All-Pro wide receiver, to the Arizona Cardinals in mid-March.

"When I first heard it, I was upset for him because he gave so much to that organization and to that team, and for them to trade him like that, it definitely sucks," Leonard told Mad Dog Sports Radio's Adam Schein on Friday. "But, you know, from the Colts' point of view, defensively, I say, 'OK, I'm glad he's gone,' because he's the top receiver in the league, and we don't have to play him twice a year."

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ICYMI: #Colts star Darius Leonard (@dsleon45) raves about former Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins to @AdamSchein & says he's happy he doesn't have to play him twice a year anymore https://t.co/2hrfaUqjmD

Hopkins has recorded at least 1,000 receiving yards in each of the last three seasons, including a career-high 1,572 yards in 2018. The 27-year-old caught 104 passes for 1,165 yards and seven touchdowns last season.

"I kind of heard the rumor talks about being traded really at the beginning of last year," Hopkins disclosed to reporters Friday. "It wasn't a big surprise to me. I was preparing for it."

Hopkins has torched the Colts for 1,053 yards and six touchdowns on 77 catches across 13 games since entering the league as Houston's 27th overall pick in 2013. The only other team to concede 1,000 career receiving yards to Hopkins is the Tennessee Titans, also in the AFC South.