Sean Pendergast

What Team Is the Favorite to Trade For DeAndre Hopkins?

DeAndre Hopkins was traded in 2020, and is likely on the move again soon.
DeAndre Hopkins was traded in 2020, and is likely on the move again soon. Photo by Eric Sauseda
A couple weeks ago, we passed the three year anniversary of the DeAndre Hopkins trade from the Houston Texans to the Arizona Cardinals. It's a day that will forever live in infamy in the history of the Texans' franchise, and a point in time that many fans and media cite as the start of the Texans' slide into oblivion, from which they are just NOW beginning to return.

Meanwhile, while the Texans have been busy winning 11 games in three seasons since that trade, Hopkins has been plying his trade out in the desert, and it's not like things have gone super smoothly for him either. When he's been on the field, Hopkins has been productive, but he's started to break down physically, and Arizona is now actually considered worse off as a franchise than the Texans.

As part of Arizona's own demise, Hopkins is now available, once again, in a trade, if you are to believe the rumor mill. Courtesy fo Sportsline.com, here are the contenders to land Hopkins' services, in the eyes of the oddsmakers:
Kansas City Chiefs +300
New England Patriots +400
Cleveland Browns +500.
Baltimore Ravens +600
Tennessee Titans +900
Minnesota Vikings (+1000)
Dallas Cowboys (+1200)
Green Bay Packers (+1300)
Buffalo Bills (+1400)
Atlanta Falcons (+1500)
Okay, now a few thoughts on this board and Hopkins' future:

NO, he is not coming back to the Texans
This is the first question that many Texan fans wonder — could Hopkins return here, considering the driving forces behind his being shipped out are both gone, specifically Bill O'Brien and Jack Easterby. Now, though, it's more about where the Texans are in their life cycle. They are a rebuilding team that (a) probably isn't ready for an expensive, aging, albeit a good wide receiver, and (b) Hopkins is probably looking to play for a title contender. So I would erase that thought, faithful Hopkins jersey owner.

If you're looking for a favorite, I direct you to Pac Man Jones' report on Hopkins
If you're looking to place a wager, and want some inside information, then take a look at this video from "The Pat McAfee Show," in which Pac Man Jones provides what appears to be inside information on Hopkins' future:
So, if you're buying Pac Man as a source, the Bills at +1,400 look pretty tasty.

Unlike in 2020, DeAndre Hopkins is a distressed asset this tine around
The big difference between now and 2020, back when Hopkins was traded the first time, is that Hopkins is  a majorly distressed asset this go round. In 2020, he was coming off another season in which he was considered one of the top three receivers in football. He was an All Pro. He was also one of the most durable players in the sport, having missed just a couple Week 17 games, and that's it, over the first half dozen seasons of his career. Now, at 31 years old, he's missed time from injuries (hamstring and knee, mostly) in each of the last two seasons, and most notably, he was suspended for the first six games of 2022 for flunking a PED test. Hopkins is not nearly as reliable as he once was.

What should the Cardinals expect to get in return?
The Cowboys only had to give up a 2023 5th round pick and a 2024 6th round pick for Brandin Cooks, who ironically was Hopkins' replacement in Houston the last three seasons. I would expect Hopkins to be pricier, maybe much pricier, than that. By "pricier," I mean that whoever trades for Hopkins will probably have to give up a Day 2 (2nd or 3rd round) pick. It feels like a second round pick is about right, with maybe a Day 3 pick tossed in. Sadly, that return (plus David Johnson's awful contract) is what Bill O'Brien fetched for Hopkins at the receiver's peak in 2020.

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Sean Pendergast is a contributing freelance writer who covers Houston area sports daily in the News section, with periodic columns and features, as well. He also hosts the morning drive on SportsRadio 610, as well as the pre-game and post game shows for the Houston Texans.
Contact: Sean Pendergast