The fact that the biggest trade of the NFL offseason hasn’t been finalized probably isn’t a big deal.
And yet, the Arizona Cardinals will probably be happy when it’s done.
The Cardinals acquired All-Pro receiver DeAndre Hopkins from the Houston Texans for running back David Johnson and a second-round pick. The team also swapped fourth-round picks. The Texans are getting a 2021 fourth-round pick and the Cardinals get a 2020 fourth-round pick. And for weeks, everyone ripped the Texans for a bad trade and most of us never stopped to wonder if the deal was officially complete.
It’s not. But the Cardinals aren’t worried, coach Kliff Kingsbury said.
Big Texans-Cardinals trade needs to be finalized
In yet another example of how coronavirus restrictions are affecting things we never usually think about in the NFL world, physical exams have not been completed on the Hopkins-Johnson trade.
The trade was agreed to on March 16, but an announcement couldn’t be made at the time. The Cardinals acknowledged the deal by tweeting that media reports said they had acquired Hopkins. They have since discussed the addition of Hopkins on their official Twitter feed in various ways. Texans coach Bill O’Brien has talked openly about the trade.
Kingsbury spoke with the Arizona media on Tuesday and said he wasn’t worried.
Kingsbury, in a conference call, said he’s confident Johnson and Hopkins will take physicals and trade will be set before the draft. He’s not concerned.
— Kent Somers (@kentsomers) April 7, 2020
Cardinals HC Kliff Kingsbury on a Zoom call with Arizona media just said he has “no doubt” the Hopkins and Johnson trade will be finalized before the NFL Draft. #Texans
— patrick (@PatDStat) April 7, 2020
Perhaps it’s nothing to be worried about. But nothing in the NFL is official until all the red tape has been sifted through. We have seen a couple of free-agent contracts nixed long after they were reported due to physical exams.
And the NFL draft, with those picks that were supposed to change hands, isn’t that far off.
Players need to finish physicals
Even though the Texans have been ripped mercilessly over the past few weeks, there’s no reason to think they’d want out of the deal. They made it voluntarily, after all. Nothing has changed for them.
Pro Football Talk said Johnson has seen a doctor for an exam on his wrist, and he passed. Johnson needs to complete a full physical.
Theoretically, if either player fails the physical, his new team could call the trade off.
At very least, the trade needs to be finalized before the draft or the teams would have to rework the deal. The draft is scheduled to start April 23. Team facilities aren’t open and players can’t visit for physicals with team doctors, though they can visit doctors local to them.
It makes sense that the controversial trade still has an unfinished chapter.
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