Houston Texans defensive end JJ Watt was surprised the organization traded star DeAndre Hopkins wide receiver to the Arizona Cardinals earlier in the off-season, but he accepts that it was a decision made by the front office.
The Texans traded Hopkins and a fourth-round pick in 2020, which the Cardinals used on defensive lineman Rashard Lawrence, Arizona in exchange for ball carrier David Johnson, a second-round pick in 2020, used on l defensive forward Ross Blacklock and a 2021 fourth-round pick.
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“Whenever you have a guy like Hop, who in my opinion has the best hands in the game and is obviously one of the best receivers in the game, it certainly catches your attention, that’s for sure,” Watt said. Sports Illustrated. It is always difficult to lose a guy like that, whatever the situation. It’s above my salary and it’s something the team and the organization obviously feels in the best interest of the team.
“So as a team player, I do my job and I go to work and I play games, and the GM and the owners do their job and they try to do what they think is best for the team, ”he added. “And so, all I can do is introduce myself and go to work and hope that all the guys we have are great contributors to our team. “
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Hopkins, an All-Pro squad of the first team in the last three seasons, is an elite talent in this position, but head coach / general manager Bill O’Brien defended the decision to trade him.
“It was in the best interest of our team,” O’Brien told Houston Chronicle. “DeAndre Hopkins was a great football player. We loved DeAndre Hopkins. He had three years left and he wanted a raise. “
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Hopkins had an interview with Sports Illustrated after the exchange and said there was “no relationship” between him and O’Brien, and asking for a raise was an opportunity to be traded.