DeAndre Hopkins on Texans Trade's Impact on Deshaun Watson: 'He's a Warrior'May 28, 2020
The Houston Texans traded All-Pro wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins to the Arizona Cardinals in March, leaving quarterback Deshaun Watson without his favorite target.
However, Hopkins doesn't expect Watson to hold the surprising transaction against the Texans, as he told Jalen & Jacoby:
"Deshaun's a warrior. Deshaun's a competitor. As long as he has a football in his hand, that's all he cares about. I know that personally from knowing him over the years. Man, Deshaun's an elite quarterback, the best quarterback I've had the chance to play with so far. He's able to make players better, and I'm pretty sure that's what he's gonna do. He's gonna rally his team up."
Houston received running back David Johnson as well as draft picks in exchange for Hopkins.
The last receiver other than Hopkins to lead the Texans in receiving yards was Andre Johnson in 2013. Houston selected Hopkins 27th overall in the 2013 NFL draft, and the 27-year-old has earned four Pro Bowl nods and three first-team All-Pro honors.
The trade wasn't "wasn't a big surprise" to Hopkins, but it appeared to catch Watson off guard:
Deshaun Watson @deshaunwatson
Man this is crazy! Not sure how you thank someone who has done so much for you and your career. Not only someone who was a leader but one of the best to ever do it. Even more I appreciate your genuine friendship from Day 1. Wishing you everything you deserve Fam! @DeAndreHopkins
The Texans have attempted to replace Hopkins by signing veteran Randall Cobb in free agency and trading for 26-year-old Brandin Cooks, but Cobb and Cooks have combined for five 1,000-yard receiving campaigns. Hopkins has five by himself.
Cooks discussed the situation with NFL Network's James Palmer:
"We have so many special guys in this room who can do it all. One of the biggest things I've always thought as a receiver is when you're stacked on a team with multiple receivers, you have a better chance of winning consistently and going far, because you can never just key on one guy. I think that unselfishness in the room I feel for the guys already is going to do us justice in the long run for sure."
Watson will also have Will Fuller V and Kenny Stills, the second- and third-leading receivers respectively behind Hopkins last season.
While the Texans took Hopkins from Watson, they also secured left tackle Laremy Tunsil on a three-year, $66 million extension to protect the 24-year-old quarterback. Since Houston selected Watson 12th overall in 2017, it has become apparent the team will go as far as he can take it. He just has different weapons to work with.