It’s been roughly three weeks since the Houston Texans dealt DeAndre Hopkins to the Arizona Cardinals in exchange for David Johnson and a second-round draft pick. Yet, the offseason’s biggest trade still isn’t finalized.
Neither Hopkins nor Johnson has passed their physicals, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reports. Florio hears that Johnson had a preliminary physical on his wrist—the one he injured back during the first week of the 2017 season—and he passed that, though he hasn’t undergone remaining aspects of the physicals.
Bill O’Brien’s deal has been heavily criticized. There were reports that Hopkins wanted a lucrative new deal and that’s why O’Brien dealt him. There was also chatter that the two had a difference of opinion during the 2019 season that set the wheels in motion. Either way, many tout the transaction as a fantastic find for Arizona.
There’s no reason to believe either side will urge their medical team not to pass their incoming player. It would be unethical for either side to do such a thing. However, stranger things have occurred.
Deadline for the Players’ Physicals?
The Cardinals sent the Texans a 2020 second-rounder and the Texans sent the Cardinals a 2020 fourth-rounder in the deal. Because those picks are on swapping hands, the physicals would need to be done before the draft or the two sides would have to come up with new terms that don’t include 2020 draft picks, Florio hears.
The deal falling through would certainly benefit the Texans. The franchise clearly misidentified that market for a top wide receiver, especially with Stefon Diggs garnering the Vikings a first-rounder and a bucket of midround picks from the Bills.
Would the Texans then shop Hopkins to other teams? Would they look to trade with the Cardinals and get better terms (albeit with draft picks in the future)? Both players may simply pass schedule and pass their physicals, though if they are unable to either because of a team dragging their feet or because of coronavirus concerns, a boatload of logistical questions would emerge.
Johnson’s Steep Fall From Top Form
It’s been a while since Johnson has played a high level consistently. During the 2016 season, the former third-round pick tallied 1,239 rushing yards and 879 receiving yards. Since then, it’s been injuries and disappointment.
Johnson dislocated his wrist mid-way through the Cardinals’ first game of the 2017 season. According to Florio, Johnson’s wrist has a reduced range of motion and it caused some concern with a doctor. Florio notes that the medical professional is not an NFL doctor.
Johnson played 16 games in 2018, and his yards per attempt dropped from 4.2 during his Pro Bowl season to 3.6. It hovered around there during the 2019 season, when he was replaced by Kenyan Drake as the starting running back.
Johnson will make $10.2 million next season. That figure is fully guaranteed regardless of which team pays it.