After earning three straight Pro Bowl selections and First-Team All-Pro honors in his final years with the Texans, the franchise decided it was time to move on from their generational talent during the 2020 offseason. On March 16, 2020, former head coach/general manager Bill O’Brien sent Hopkins to the Arizona Cardinals for a 2020 second-round pick, a 2021 fourth-round pick and running back David Johnson.
The incredibly unbalanced deal did more than just shock NFL fans and media members. It marked the beginning of a sharp decline for the Texans — and a new era for the Cardinals.
Despite being noticeably frustrated by the decision early on, Hopkins now seems to be enjoying his new home.
The eighth-year NFL wideout took to Twitter to react to the trade’s one-year anniversary.
1 year anniversary mood. pic.twitter.com/FLDRo6fzGi
— Deandre Hopkins (@DeAndreHopkins) March 16, 2021
In his first season with Arizona, Hopkins hit the ground running — logging a team-high 115 receptions, 1,407 yards and six touchdowns through 16 starts. He even already has a signature play in a Cardinals uniform — ripping down a game-winning Hail Mary touchdown over three Buffalo Bills’ defenders in Week 10.
The main reason Houston ditched Hopkins last year was an unwillingness to meet his contract needs. Arizona on the other hand wasted no time in paying its new superstar talent.
Despite having three year’s remaining on his original contract, Hopkins leveraged a raise from his new franchise. In September 2020, he signed a two-year extension worth $54.5 million in new money — making him the highest paid non-quarterback in NFL history.
Going 8-8 through last season, the Cardinals significantly improved on their five-win 2019 campaign. Moving forward, it’s looking like things will only improve for the up-and-coming franchise.