Cardinals' famous DeAndre Hopkins trade has paid off big, and they face 49ers on Yahoo Sports app
It's not like someone withheld the Arizona Cardinals trade verdict for DeAndre Hopkins. There was nothing to judge.
When Hopkins was available for next to nothing to the Cardinals of Bill O’Brien, then the Houston Texans coach, and the Cardinals somehow had to throw back David Johnson's bad contract, it wasn't even a decision. It was one of those rare NFL moves that wasn't thought of. The Cardinals just had to say yes and reap the rewards. It was practically an unprecedented deal because everyone knew who was winning the moment it happened.
The deal was everything the cardinals had hoped for, and maybe more.
Arizona, with its phenomenal # 1 receiver, will play the San Francisco 49ers on Saturday, a game that will be broadcast live on the Yahoo Sports app. Expect to hear O'Brien's name and one of the most famous trades in NFL history to be mentioned a couple of times.
DeAndre Hopkins was great for Arizona
There are some iconic trades in NFL history: Herschel Walker to the Vikings for a boatload of draft picks to the Cowboys, Randy Moss from Oakland to New England, an unknown Brett Favre to the Packers after a disastrous rookie season in Atlanta, Marshall Faulk John Elway forced Baltimore to trade him to Denver, and Eli Manning did the same to get San Diego to send him to the Giants.
The Hopkins trade immediately went on the list. You will not find any other trade in any sport that has been criticized as promptly and severely as this one. Houston sent Hopkins and a selection for the fourth round to Arizona for Johnson, a selection for the second round in 2020 and a selection for the fourth round in 2021. There was a lot of impact. Hopkins and O'Brien were reported to be unrelated, and one reason Hopkins was traded was because O'Brien was insane, that Hopkins - arguably the best recipient in the NFL - wanted a reasonable raise. The Texans got off to a slow start this season and O’Brien got fired, and it seems obvious that part of the cause was the uproar over the infamous and horrific trade.
Hopkins has reached 100 meters in seven of the 14 Arizona games. He has 103 catches and leads the NFL with 1,324 yards. He had perhaps the biggest Hail Mary catch of all time, over three Buffalo Bills recipients to win a game. The Arizona offense would have been lost without Hopkins, its only reliable recipient after Larry Fitzgerald's game waned.
Hopkins would be a great choice for all-pros. That’s no surprise. He's been an all-pro for his last three Texas seasons. O'Brien traded him anyway.
DeAndre Hopkins scored a touchdown against the Eagles last week. (AP Photo / Rick Scuteri)
Cardinals still able to make playoffs
The Cardinals will be in the playoffs if they win, thanks in large part to Hopkins.
Kyler Murray had a minor slump but looked fine in a win over the Philadelphia Eagles last week. The defense lost a lot when Chandler Jones suffered an end-of-season injury, but this group has played pretty well lately. Arizona is 8-6.
Saturday's game is a big one for the Cardinals. If they lose, they risk losing the final wild card against the 7-7 Chicago Bears. The Bears won the tiebreaker over Arizona based on conference recordings or recordings against mutual opponents, according to the Bears team website. The only way Arizona can guarantee a place in the playoffs is by winning the last two games.
The Cardinals can be sure of at least one thing that will go into Saturday's game: they will have the best player on the field. You can thank O'Brien for that.
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CG: MIN @ CHC - 9/21/21