The Texans once found themselves up 24-0 against the Kansas City Chiefs in the Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs at Arrowhead Stadium. Kansas City gifted them a muffed punt and a blocked punt. A fake wide receiver screen turned into a wide open touchdown to give Houston three scores. After a COWARDLY decision on fourth down, everything unraveled. The Chiefs scored 41 straight points. The Texans failed to reach another conference championship game.
In the offseason afterwards, the Texans added only Eric Murray in free agency to a defense that gave up 51 points that January. They turned DeAndre Hopkins into David Johnson and Brandin Cooks and a pick swap that led to Ross Blacklock. This was their grand idea to improve the team to get past that existential hurdle.
It failed. Houston started off 0-4, largely due to their offensive red zone woes, Bill O’Brien was fired, and in came Romeo Crennel, the further entrenchment of Jack Easterby, and a continual drop to a bottom that doesn’t exist.
Bleacher Report recently ranked the seven worst trades in the NFL since 2000 and, you guessed it, the Hopkins trade was the named the worst one of the bunch. They had the following to say:
1. TEXANS SEND HOPKINS TO ARIZONA (2020)
After winning AFC South titles in 2018 and 2019, the Houston Texans made the logical next step in the progression of building a championship contender: Trade your All-Pro receiver.
For some bizarre reason, head coach/general manager Bill O’Brien sent DeAndre Hopkins to the Arizona Cardinals in the spring of 2020. Hopkins had racked up 8,602 yards and 54 touchdowns in seven years with Houston despite some awful quarterback play during the first five seasons.
O’Brien only received running back David Johnson, a second-round choice and a swap of fourth-round picks in return. Worse yet, Arizona may even have considered cutting Johnson that offseason before somehow building a trade for Hopkins around him.
It should come as no surprise the Texans fired O’Brien following an 0-4 start to the 2020 campaign.
Johnson was terrible, Cooks didn’t produce at all during Houston’s 0-4 start, Blacklock threw more punches than sacks, and the Texans fell apart. Hopkins wasn’t traded because of contract reasons; he was traded because of the ‘culture’, and Houston turned a future Hall of Famer in the prime of his career into a sad return.
Whenever you think things won’t get worse, they will. The Texans know this better than anyone else, no matter what lies they tell themselves and sell to you, loyal reader.