Texans trade DeAndre Hopkins to Cardinals for David Johnson and draft picks, per reports

One of the most active teams in the trade market over the last year, the Houston Texans, are making another deal. According to multiple reports, the Texans will acquire running back David Johnson in a deal with the Arizona Cardinals. ESPN’s Adam Schefter also reports the Texans will send DeAndre Hopkins to the Cardinals.

Johnson is heading into the second year of the three-year, $39 million extension he signed with the Cardinals. He will draw a base salary of $10.2 million and carry a cap hit of nearly $11.2 million next season. The Texans are reportedly taking on his entire salary

Johnson had a spectacular season for the Cardinals back in 2016, but has yet to recapture the same form since then. He missed all but one game in 2017 after breaking his wrist, then struggled in 2018 before being hit with the injury bug yet again in 2019. He was eventually surpassed on the depth chart by Kenyan Drake.

Houston had also previously traded for former Cleveland Browns running back Duke Johnson, who is set to count against their books for $4.1 million in 2020. The Texans will now be paying more money to the running back position than almost any team in the NFL.

Duke Johnson has been one of the most productive backs in the league on a per-touch basis and routinely ranks among the league leaders in broken tackle rate, but the Texans, like the Browns before them, seem to have pigeon-holed him as merely a third-down back. They gave the majority of their running back touches to Carlos Hyde last season even though he was far less productive than Johnson, and now they seemingly plan to pair Duke and David Johnson in the same fashion. 

Arizona now clears David Johnson’s cap hit off their books and may be in better position to retain Drake, whom they can pair with Chase Edmonds, who looked like a solid player in 2019 as well. 

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