Bill O'Brien says to wait at least a year to evaluate DeAndre Hopkins trade

Bill O’Brien made a fair point on Thursday.

While the Houston Texanstrade of DeAndre Hopkins for David Johnson and a second-round pick has been blasted mercilessly for a month, we don’t know how it will turn out. Some trades that look great in the moment end up being huge mistakes.

O’Brien just asked that the trade be evaluated after we know some of the results.

It seems doubtful that we’ll look back on the trade with the Arizona Cardinals as a win for O’Brien, but stranger things have happened.

Bill O’Brien feels good about DeAndre Hopkins trade

O’Brien will not back down, nor should he.

He made the trade, and he has more knowledge about the situation than anyone else involved. He had a reason to trade Hopkins. And he continued to defend the trade, even as the rest of the NFL world disagrees.

"We feel very good about the value we got for the trade,” O’Brien said, via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle.

What else is he going to say?

The most tangible reason for trading Hopkins, coming off three straight All-Pro selections, was that he wanted a raise. He wanted a contract that put him closer to the other elite receivers in the game. Apparently the Texans did not like that he asked for a raise with three years left on his deal.

O’Brien referenced that on Thursday too.

"It was going to be very difficult to have elite quarterback, elite receiver, elite offensive tackle, elite defensive end and be able to do that,” he said, via Wilson.

Houston Texans head coach Bill O'Brien has been criticized for trading DeAndre Hopkins. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
Houston Texans head coach Bill O'Brien has been criticized for trading DeAndre Hopkins. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

Texans like what they got for Hopkins

If there is a defense of the Texans’ trade, it’s that Johnson has shown elite skills. He was an All-Pro in 2016. He has dealt with injuries since then and fell out of favor with the Cardinals. Maybe he can recapture that form, and the second-round pick the Texans got turns out to be an impact player too.

Still, the Texans will miss Hopkins. Hopkins is a tremendous receiver, one of the best players in the NFL, and it’s hard to imagine he doesn’t play very well in Arizona. Even if Johnson rebounds and the second-round pick turns out well, it still will be hard to match Hopkins assuming he maintains his typical level. Hopkins is just 27 years old, so that shouldn’t be a problem.

But we’ll see. While this trade looks terrible, O’Brien isn’t wrong to ask everyone to see how it turns out first. One thing is certain: Nobody will forget to check back in a year.

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