Bill O’Brien: DeAndre Hopkins trade was in best interest of our team

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By almost anyone’s analysis, the Texans did not get enough in the trade of DeAndre Hopkins to the Cardinals. David Johnson, a 2020 second-round choice and a 2021 fourth-round choice in return for Hopkins and a 2020 fourth-round choice seems lopsided in the Cardinals’ favor.

So why did the Texans make it?

Texans General Manager/coach Bill O’Brien said Friday in a town hall meeting with season ticket holders that it happened only because of money. That’s what Ed Werder of ESPN reported two weeks ago, citing an unnamed Texans source who insisted it had nothing to do with O’Brien’s strained relationship with Hopkins.

“It was in the best interest of our team,” O’Brien said on the Friday call, via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. “DeAndre Hopkins was a great football player. We loved DeAndre Hopkins. He had three years left on his deal, and he wanted a raise. David Johnson is going to be a great addition to our football team.”

Hopkins reportedly wants a new deal in the $18 million to $20 million range despite three years left on his current deal with base salaries of $12.5 million, $13.5 million, and $13.915 million. The Cardinals have had at least preliminary discussions with Hopkins’ representation.

At least twice more on the call, O’Brien pulled the “every decision we make will always be made in the best interest of the team” card.

“Any decision that’s made is made with the team in mind,” O’Brien said at one point. “Capital T Capital E Capital A. Capital M in mind.”

Still, no one can argue the Hopkins trade made the Texans a better team. It simply didn’t.

70 responses to “Bill O’Brien: DeAndre Hopkins trade was in best interest of our team

  1. What would expect him to say…..admit that he was an idiot for making that trade?

  2. Hopkins reportedly wants a new deal in the $18 million to $20 million range

    So that’s unacceptable yet they’re willing to pay Laremy Tunsil at least $18.5mil. Yep totally makes sense.

  3. Plenty of players outperform their contracts and want a raise. Plenty of teams call their bluff and do not re-negotiate the player’s contract. Would it have caused a hold-out in 2020? Possibly. A distraction? Certainly. But in the interest of the TEAM – keeping Hopkins was the smarter move.

  4. He should probably fire himself if he’s looking to make the best decision for the ream possible.

    0-2 in the major trades department.

    You’d think someone living in Texas wouldn’t get fleeced so badly. Miami really thanks you.

  5. Best interest for the Texans is for Bill O’Brien to take the U Penn OC job. They really do have that opening. Jump on it, Bill.

  6. People are ok with them trading Hopkins. What people are not ok with is how O’Brien managed the situation and got very little in return. An enormous contract for a RB who has underperformed for years that the other team wanted to unload badly for one of the best WR in the league? Not good enough.

  7. Dallas cowboy wr michael irvin is a hof player, so is minnesota viking wr cris carter. Hopkims is better than both of them, he just needs more catches to prove the point. Bad trade!

  8. If players want a raise every year, just sign 1 year contracts. Oh right, they want security too…

  9. However you spin it, that trade was foolish of the Texans. They practically gave away a top 5 wide receiver in his prime. If the money was such a big issue, why did the Texans take on Johnson’s enormous contract? It just doesn’t make sense.

  10. It was in the best interest of the team to get rid of an all-pro #1 WR and instead get an expensive broken down RB.
    Yup, I belive that.

    BOB got ripped off.
    Had he traded for a #1 and a #2 and a #3 then you could argue the merits of the trade.
    But a great WR for a broken down and expensive RB?
    He threw away an excellent player and brought in an unproductive salary cap burden.

  11. you don’t trade away the best WR in football for a RB and picks. both are a dime a dozen. Hopkins is special… you don’t trade away special

  12. O’Brien lost me at 3 years left on contract…

    That’s where you come back with “when you have one year left on your contract we’ll talk”.

    They better hire a REAL GM before everyone wants $20 million.

    Texans = DOA

  13. Of course it made them a better team. The draft is loaded with WRs. Paying a WR or an RB 17-20 mil per is absolute cap suicide. They can use their 1st rd pick on WR under the rookie cap. Sure, that player may not be a top 10 WR in the league, probably not immediately, but you don’t need a top WR to win a SB either. You just need 3 good ones.

    You either understand teambuilding recipes like how NE does it or you don’t. How many decades do we need to see the Pats win 10+ games per year, loaded, never in a cap hell, from year to year, in order to prove overpaying the sexier positions is somehow the better way? lol

    I think Houstpn didn’t quite get enough in return, but in terms of helping the health and teambuilding of the roster, saving all that money for just 1 player’s services, is absolutely part of making a TEAM better. You need 53 guys. As good as Hopkins is, no way moving forward based on his demands for a raise, etc, would be good for Houston.

    I mean, this is the same team that ruined Watt’s career over cap hell. Andre Johnson and Arian Foster got paid bloated money at the exact same time. I said it would kill them and it did. End of story.

    If DeShaun Watson is going to get somewhat close to Mahomes money, you can’t pay Hopkins long term, on a bloated deal, too. End of story. It’s a total of too much money into one side of the ball.

    That said, Tunsil looking for 18 mil per is ALSO crazy, and that’s a mistake by O’Brien not knowing that’s his asking price, because it contradicts the reason to unload Hopkins. Paying ANYONE way more than they should get based on the market, is stupid.

    Hopkins is one of these guys that is a consistent fantasy football producer, but does very little in crucial moments of crucial games. The idea he wanted a new deal with 3 years left on his current one, is clearly disturbing.

  14. If players want a raise every year, just sign 1 year contracts. Oh right, they want security too…
    —————————————-
    If NFL players had guaranteed contracts, like MLB and NBA, you might have a point. But since they don’t, I have no problem with players trying to get theirs.

  15. In all fairness to head coach Bill O’Brien the GM must be a complete donk….on wait

  16. webster8723 says:
    April 3, 2020 at 5:17 pm
    you don’t trade away the best WR in football for a RB and picks. both are a dime a dozen. Hopkins is special… you don’t trade away special

    7 1 Rate This

    ————————-

    Laughable to call him the best WR in football.

    Give me 11 Edelmans all day long over that guy. Hopkins has better stats, sure. Football player (blocking, running all the routes, toughness, etc)…? Nope. Edelman all day. The postseason numbers show that.

    There is no definitive “best”. Jones, Hopkins, a healthy AJ Green, maybe Tyreek Hill, Edelman, etc. They are all really good even if with various, different skills at the position.

    Millennials playing fantasy football struggle to understand the sport.

  17. I get not wanting to pay him with three years left. But damn he could have gotten way more in return

  18. kevines255 says:
    April 3, 2020 at 5:01 pm
    If players want a raise every year, just sign 1 year contracts. Oh right, they want security too…
    ___________________________________________________
    Why do commenters resent a player – or anyone for that matter – for negotiating the best deal they can get? OF COURSE he (and all employees) want a contract that offers the most income and most job security. They are SUPPOSED to “ask” for that, just ANY contractor or union, etc should. That’s how ALL negotiations work. In this case the Texans/Cardinals were weaker than Hopkins.

    Dont hate the winner. Its not Hopkins’ job to say “Gee you guys are so easy i think I’ll take less income and security!”

  19. If the Texans are truly committed to winning, it would be in the best interest of the team for O’Brien to pack his bags and leave town. O’Brien is not a good head coach by any stretch of any ones imagination. O’Brien is too full of himself.

  20. ajoyce1977 says:
    April 3, 2020 at 4:57 pm
    People are ok with them trading Hopkins. What people are not ok with is how O’Brien managed the situation and got very little in return. An enormous contract for a RB who has underperformed for years that the other team wanted to unload badly for one of the best WR in the league? Not good enough.

    21 1 Rate This

    ———————–

    ^^Correct statement right here.

    No way you oveepay an ego driven primadonna a bloated contract at WR. The simple fact he he was making about him with 3 years to go on his deal proves O’Brien was right to deal him.

    Arizona and their bozo the clown GM will never win anything and it’s because he never gets the leverage. They’ll overpay Hopkins and the small baseball player at QB will be ruined.

  21. A coach who cannot win important games now gets to be GM where he is equally inept. Maybe they’ll soon make him an owner as he continues to fail upwards.

  22. If a player is going to be a distraction, a holdout, an AB (God forbid)…take the best offer – cut them loose. This guy is going to get his money, even with 3 years remaining. And it will be largely guaranteed. It was only a couple years ago that OBJ was a top receiver. Now?
    And I can’t believe the money Amari Cooper is getting. Dak Prescott to be highest paid player? Like that franchise won’t be in cap hell shortly.

  23. Agents should know by now that a player should never sign a five-year deal. The team is virtually always committing to nothing beyond the first two years, while the player is just locking himself in. Teams should also know that these contracts do nothing but p— off the players who outperform them.

    I get that Hopkins was a headache, but really they jumped the gun here. And, they would be better off if they’d taken the 2nd and 4th and left DJ behind in Arizona. Just a big mistake all around.

  24. O’Brien must have an ego the size of Texas. You don’t let Hopkins walk. Look at Atlanta has worked with Julio Jones. Hopkins is going to be good where ever he goes. However, the Texans have a really good O line and QB. Watson’s #1 WR is going to have good numbers, whoever it is. If David Johnson can put together a fully healthy season, he could have a year like his 2016 season…

  25. Even if it was in the team’s best interest to trade him, the could have gotten substantially more for him. Even though I would have just paid him, I understand the idea of moving and not committing too much cap percentage at WR. Still, a little patience would have netted way more in return.

  26. I don’t have an issue with him shipping Hopkins out of town. Not every ego is worth the talent they bring to the team.

    I do have an issue with him acquiring an expensive-but-useless running back.

    I do have an issue with only getting a #2 to go with that RB’s albatross contract.

  27. Too much power. What makes it worse is that he makes many of his decisions based on emotion, that’s the worst kind of person you want wearing all the hats in your organization. He doesn’t have the temperament and the experience to broker nfl deals. This Team will be back to expansion level if they keep letting this guy call the shots.

  28. I’d be willing to bet that there were several other teams who would have given way more to get a receiver like Hopkins. O’Brien traded away a filet tigon steak for a cheeseburger.

  29. Bad trade. Not that he traded the player asking for more money, I get the reasoning. But you don’t settle for that return.

  30. Who ever said DeAndre Hopkins was better the micheal Irvin better back up off that because the playmaker was real. And a champion on every level

  31. Maybe in the best interest of the team for being on the clock for the first pick in 2021 draft…!

  32. It is one thing to make a trade. What people are talking about is how little he got for one of the best receivers in the league. Not even a 1st round draft pick. Like he talked to no other teams and just begged Arizona to take Hopkins. Just weak negotiating. O’Brien shows that he is no GM.

  33. I get the contract thing and not wanting to tear up a deal with 3 years left. You don’t do that for just anyone. Surely not for a guy who’s a distraction in the first place, or who is not a 5op-5 kind of talent. But Hopkins IS clearly the kind of guy you have to either pay, or move – but if you’re gonna move him, you have GOT to get value in return, and here O’Brien failed spectacularly.

    I’ve seen no indication that the Texans sat down with him and tried to hammer out a compromise. They could have re-worked his deal and spread some signing bonus money out over a few years. Arizona will gladly give him a market-rate contract and both sides will be happy. O’brien can’t defend this move, it should get him fired sooner than later.

  34. So when are the TEXANS going to hire to someone who is a real GM ? I would hire the ex gm from the Browns who never should have been fired. I can’t think of his name because I’m drinking and had a long day at work but I thank God I have a job.

  35. Can’t wait to see that AZ offense with Murray, Hopkins, Fitzgerald, the Kirk kid, and Drake. Too bad they still need a defense.

  36. eroschmidt says:
    April 3, 2020 at 6:20 pm
    O’Brien must have an ego the size of Texas. You don’t let Hopkins walk. Look at Atlanta has worked with Julio Jones. Hopkins is going to be good where ever he goes. However, the Texans have a really good O line and QB. Watson’s #1 WR is going to have good numbers, whoever it is. If David Johnson can put together a fully healthy season, he could have a year like his 2016 season…

    4 8 Rate This

    —————-

    Yeah, Atlanta sure has won some Super Bowls in their past with Jones.

    lol

    That is why O’Brien dealt Hopkins. To avoid getting in deeper.

  37. Imagine if the Saints gave up Thomas for a rando runningback. Bill O’Brien is a disaster, what else is he going to do with the $5M that’s better for the team?

  38. Here’s a thought. Hopkins was on the trade block for over a month. What’s that say about Hopkins? And people bashing the trade, that was the best offer they could get. Apparently Hopkins has some issues that you don’t hear about on ESPN.

  39. What if Johnson has a breakout year? Carlos Hyde had the best season of his career as a seventh year RB in 2019 for the Texans. So there is a history here.
    Otherwise,, virtually every other commenter here is correct: The Texans should have gotten more in the trade.

  40. Bill O’Brien is a total tool. Might know football but doesn’t have the character or leadership. If teams don’t love to play for their coach then they will never be Champions, which is the ultimate goal.

  41. I’m sure he was becoming an Antonio Brown.
    Good for you if you dumped him in time.

  42. the other problem the Texans have is their owner Cal McNair. The guy is clueless when it comes to running the team.

  43. Chris Simms loves to defend this trade, which is why I can’t watch him or take PFT seriously anymore. Bad optics. What can I say?

    1. The Cardinals essentially drafted Hopkins in the 2nd round and opted to pay him 11 million dollars a year for the next two years, and 21-22 million his third year.

    2. How? They would have been paying DJ roughly 11 million a year for two years. The Cardinals thought they were stuck with it. Because OhNoBrien made such a bad deal taking the contract, the Cardinals can pretend they are still stuck with it, and simply just get Hopkins for 11 million more.

    3. OhNoBrien will now pay an above-average LT like he is one of the best in the league.
    Wasting almost as much money as if he resigned Hopkins. All to save face over another stupid trade.

    4. OhNoBrien will take the 2nd round pick, and probably whiff on it because he sucks.

    Even if DJ has a career-best year at soon to be 31 (which is unlikely), that doesn’t change the fact The Cardinals would have ended up keeping him on the bench or cutting him. It also doesn’t change the fact Hopkins will be awesome. OhNoBrien honestly loses even in best case scenario.

  44. Is there a coach in the league who has achieved less with a ton of talent than O’Brien? He’s an overrated coach and a down right terrible GM.

  45. BoB is full of it. Players ask for more money all the time. Almost none of these players get traded. They get a few future bonuses guaranteed, a restructured deal, or told to play on their current deal. They then hold out, but show up when it counts i.e. when the game checks start rolling in. This is the way of life in the NFL, and every NFL team knows one thing: they have the power. Somehow BoB doesn’t understand this, and amazingly manages to give Tunsil a blank check by not extending him when they traded for him.

    He’s an average coach at best, and a terrible GM that doesn’t understand contracts, value of draft capital, or position scarcity.

  46. Once you set the precedent that you will pay $$$ for offensive skill positions not named franchise QB, you are toast in the long term. You may have that one year when all the tumblers fall into place but you can’t build perennial SB runs on that mentality.

    There’s a small handful of positions to pay up for, and they’re not RB and WR.

  47. tylawspick6 says:
    April 3, 2020 at 5:32 pm
    Of course it made them a better team. The draft is loaded with WRs. Paying a WR or an RB 17-20 mil per is absolute cap suicide. They can use their 1st rd pick on WR under the rookie cap. Sure, that player may not be a top 10 WR in the league, probably not immediately, but you don’t need a top WR to win a SB either. You just need 3 good ones.

    ———————-

    They don’t have a 1st rnd pick until 2022.

  48. Every player wants more money. That Hopkins did isn’t exactly breaking news. The value the Texans received in return for a top 5 or even top 3 wide receiver is abominably paltry. Kyler Murray just became a better quarterback, and Desean Watson just took a step back.

    So instead they’re going to give Tunsil a big fat raise after giving up TWO first-round picks and mortgaging the team’s short-term future for him? That’s starting QB price, not OL value. O’Brien is an NFL coach acting like a fantasy football team owner.

  49. Let’s see what this looks like in 3-4 years. They are not going to lose Watson or Tunsil; that is a priority. We have to see how Watson grows without throwing to one receiver almost a third of the time. If the Texans find a way to spread the ball around and score more points than the trade will be fine. If Watson’s QB rating goes down than it was a mistake.

    Also, they will get value with the 40th overall pick and David Johnson might return to form – he is a perfect fit for the Texan’s offense. Consider me undecided.

  50. Firing Bill O’Brien would be best for their team. He has under performed with a lot of talent for years.

  51. This is interesting. Everyone seems to feeel (myself included to some degree) that O’Brien did not get enough in return for Hopkins and that the Buffalo Bills overpaid for the other great wide reciever on the market the Vikings’s reciever named Diggs. I guess most people feel O’Brien should have gotten a number one pick (at least ) for Hopkins. I know running backs are mnore fungible than other postions but Johnson was an MVP calibre type player only a couple of years ago. His recent injuries from last year were related to his wrist not his legs or back or shoulder so his career should not be affected by that type of injury. Also running back was a postion of need for the Texans so there is also that factor. And Johnson is a great recieving type of running back with a good yards after catch average. That is harder to find in a draft or free agency, because a lot of backs can’t seem to develop the sure catch sticky hands that a good reciever needs to snag a ball out of the air. A lot of backs don’t have a knack for it. And of course the Cardinals have now already agreed to renegotiate Hopkins contract now according to news reports. So that is money the Texans won’t have to spend and can use on other needs. Also this draft is purported to be super rich with good recievers, a veritable gold mine of talented recievers, so the Texans have a good chance to find an adequate replacement for Hopkins this draft ( I said adequate replacement I know Hopkins is special). So maybe the trade was not so bad after all. The more I think about it the more I agree with Simms that this trade was not so terrible. Of course, there is also the possibility that there was some personal rift between O’Brien and Hopkins but it doesn’t look that way. At least they are not talking about it much if there truly was. I am curious what do most people think would have been fair? A number one plus Johnson? That seems pretty steep.

  52. Johnson’s last elite season was 2016, when he finished 7th in rushing between McCoy and Blount. Since then he has multiple injuries and under 4 YPC and under 1000 yards rushing. He is theoretically still youngish but there is not much precedent for running backs suddenly becoming elite again after so many poor years, and even if he does, he is already highly paid. He has negative value. He is damaged goods. There are tons of free agents available whose last elite year was 2016 who have the same potential as Johnson at more valuable positions who would cost less. The same trade would have been better if Johnson was simply left out, but OBrien took Johnson, with negative value, as a name, to cover dumping Hopkins.

  53. This move will save the team money in the long run. Watsons stats wont be as good without Hopkins, so they save by not paying Hopkins, and not paying Watson as much later. Its a win win.

  54. The BIGGEST Issue with this or any trade that O’Brien has made, has been the position of Ownership to place a person in charge with no experience on the Team Building or Management side. Cal McNair and his mother Janice are to blame for this fiasco of bad management,and Coaching and should either fire O’Brien or Sell the Team, PERIOD!!!! Houston deserves way,way better!

  55. His trades have been so odd. Clowney dealt for a 3rd and 2 backups. Hopkins dealt for a RB and 2nd. Gave up a ton to get Tunsil and will pay him. Trading these players isnt really the issue its his return, its almost like he is impatient out there and the other GMs lowball or ask the world from him. I don’t think OBrien is that bad of a coach (a complete ass? yes). However he has no business having executive power. The only coaches who have earned that right are Belichick Reid Carroll as they have shown they can run the show. I would get it if Payton, Tomlin or Harbaugh pushed for it. However so odd to see GM duties given to guys like McDaniels, O’Brien, Kelly, etc without much to show for it. Maybe BOB forced their hand after the Osweiler disaster they had but he has looked pretty bad.

  56. Something tells me there was some really bad blood between Hopkins and O’Brien. There is a lot of talented WR’s in this year’s draft. As with every trade, time will tell who got the better deal.

  57. O’Brien is a hotheaded egomaniac who GAVE AWAY a great WR for next to nothing. I feel sorry for Watson and Watt for having to play for that guy… a terrible coach and even worse GM….

  58. By now it should be obvious that you can’t really judge whether or not a trade makes a team better until at least one year later or maybe 2 or 3.

    Also, if coaches/GMs were too concerned about what fans/media think when they make these moves, they’re going to be unemployed pretty quickly.

    I mean, look at how many fans here are saying that Bill O’Brien is an idiot or whatever. Yet the guy has coached in Houston for six seasons with four playoff appearances. Seems to know what he’s doing.

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