As we sifted through the rubble of the aftermath of Monday's DeAndre Hopkins on Tuesday morning, we had pretty much heard from anyone who mattered in the storylines. All of the prominent media members had weighed in, most of them incredulous over a deal like this even happening. J.J. Watt tweeted. Kenny Stills tweeted. Former Texans like Tyrann Mathieu. Jadeveon Clowney, Kareem Jackson, they all weighed in.
All but one... QB Deshaun Watson. Well, that finally happened on Twitter Tuesday morning:
As expected, a classy sentiment from Watson, who refrained from expressing any frustration toward Bill O'Brien in his respects to Hopkins. So with the book now closed on public comment from everyone (except O'Brien himself, and who knows when that will come), we can continue dealing with OUR various stages of grief.
It's been painful the last two days to watch the slew of Hopkins highlight montages on shows like SportsCenter. It's like almost every Hopkins memory is unenjoyable now, sullied by the selfishness of O'Brien shipping the all Pro wide receiver away for pennies on the dollar. It's not just highlight enjoyment deprivation that O'Brien has unleashed on all of us. Consider there are at least four other future Hopkins accomplishments that Texan fans cannot fully enjoy, or perhaps even enjoy one iota.
We won’t get to see Hopkins surpass Andre Johnson in every career receiving stat
Andre Johnson put up the vast majority of his career numbers in the 12 seasons where he played for the Texans (2003-2014) — 1,012 catches, 13,597 yards, and 64 touchdown catches. Hopkins' numbers on a pregame basis, trend right along side Johnson's, except in touchdowns, where Hopkins has a massive advantage. We were probably four seasons away from seeing Hopkins surpass Johnson in all of these counting stats, and now it won't matter. He will be doing it in an Arizona Cardinal uniform.
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We won’t be able to enjoy Hopkins being named All Decade for the 2010s
The All-Decade team for the 2010s should be getting named sometime soon. When it does, it will include four wide receivers, and I think the four are pretty cut and dried — Calvin Johnson, Antonio Brown, Julio Jones, and Hopkins, who made the first team All Pro three times, and second team once. Add in the fact that he played with literally about a dozen different starting quarterbacks in compiling his numbers, as opposed to every other great WR, all of whom had steady starters, and Hopkins should become the first Texan (along with Watt, who is a lock) to gain this honor. Too bad that he will be wearing a Cardinal uniform when the news comes down.
We won’t get a Hopkins Ring of Honor ceremony
To this point, there are only two members of the Houston Texans' Ring of Honor. There's Andre Johnson, the first great player in the history of the franchise, and Bob McNair, the late owner and founder of the team, the man who brought pro football back to Houston. My personal hope is that the bar for induction into the Ring of Honor remains very, very high. Whatever that bar would be, Hopkins was undoubtedly on track for induction someday. Now, being traded in his prime, it remains to be seen if he will one day be recognized for his seven seasons of largely transcendent performance. I tend to think that there will be others in front of Hopkins in line, and given how it ended, even though O'Brien will be long gone when decisions like these are made, the sour taste left by O'Brien on this whole thing may factor into whether Hopkins even cares to be inducted.
We won’t be able to fully enjoy his HOF ceremony
As Hopkins continues to climb the charts of the counting stats, he is on his way to assembling a Canton-worthy resume. He has been the youngest receiver in history to reach various yardage milestones, and with a young quarterback like Kyler Murray, he remains attached at the hip of a signal caller that will help him continue to pile up numbers. The main gaping hole right now, like Andre Johnson before him, is the lack of important postseason games. Maybe that changes if the Cardinals can ascend. Either way, whenever Hopkins' date with Canton comes, it will be impossible for Texan fans to fully enjoy it.