Running back David Johnson passed his physical with the Houston Texans, clearing the final hurdle for the trade sending DeAndre Hopkins to the Arizona Cardinals to become official.
The Houston Chronicle reported Wednesday that Johnson passed his physical.
Hopkins passed his physical over the weekend, according to multiple media reports.
Texans head coach Bill O’Brien told season-ticket holders recently that he felt Johnson was a hungry running back who fit perfectly into the style of offense he expects to employ this season. It wasn’t that the Texans didn’t want Hopkins, O’Brien asserted.
“We love DeAndre Hopkins, but he had three years left on his deal, and he wanted a raise. We weren’t going to be able to go in that direction,” he said.
O’Brien touted the package the Texans received in return, even though it didn’t include a first-round pick. A trade for wide receiver Stefon Diggs to the Buffalo Bills netted the Minnesota Vikings a first-rounder among four draft picks.
Houston acquired the Cardinals’ 2020 second-round pick and Johnson while also swapping their own 2020 fourth-round pick for Arizona’s fourth-rounder in 2021.
“We felt like we had a great offer from Arizona that involved picks,” O’Brien said. “It involved an excellent three-down running back who’s hungry and humble and can’t wait to get started. David Johnson is going to be a great addition to our football team.”
The trade was widely panned and has brought heavy criticism upon O’Brien, who has served as the Texans’ de facto general manager since GM Brian Gaine was fired last June, less than 18 months after Gaine was hired. O’Brien officially added the GM role to his title on Jan. 28.
In a story published by The Athletic on Wednesday, an anonymous executive from another team called the trade “a joke,” adding, “How the David Johnson contract was included in the deal just astounds me.”
Johnson is due $11.2 million guaranteed this season, the third-highest salary of any running back in the NFL. The 28-year-old has totaled 2,191 scrimmage yards (averaging 4.8 yards per touch) and 16 touchdowns over the past three seasons after posting 2,118 scrimmage yards (5.7 average) and 20 touchdowns during his All-Pro season of 2016.
Hopkins, who turns 28 in June, is coming off three consecutive first-team All-Pro selections, tallying 315 catches for 4,115 yards and 31 touchdowns in 46 games over that span. He has three years and $39.9 million — none guaranteed — remaining on his contract.
—Field Level Media