The Houston Texans have become the most unpredictable team in the NFL.
With a reshuffled front office that gave coach Bill O’Brien all the power, the Texans are a wild card. They make moves that don’t seem to align with any big-picture strategic approach. So anything seems possible.
Including, perhaps, trading receiver DeAndre Hopkins?
An interesting tidbit buried deep in a Peter King column on NBC Sports said that the Texans could trade Hopkins, as crazy as that sounds.
(UPDATE: The Texans did trade Hopkins, sending him to the Arizona Cardinals in a blockbuster deal that included draft picks and running back David Johnson going to Houston.)
Could DeAndre Hopkins be traded?
Here’s what King wrote:
It might be just pre-draft chatter, but two teams over the weekend told me to watch Houston and DeAndre Hopkins, who has three years and a reasonable $40 million left on his contract, and who’d cause only a $3-million cap hit to the Texans if they traded him.
That was the eighth item in King’s column. If he felt more strongly about that possibility, it would have appeared much higher. For now, let’s assume it is pre-draft chatter.
But it certainly is an interesting possibility. The Texans obviously wouldn’t be better off without Hopkins, a three-time All-Pro who is just 27 years old. But Houston is becoming a team that rarely does things that make much sense.
And if Hopkins gets traded, it could significantly swing the list of Super Bowl favorites.
Who might be in the market if Hopkins is available?
If the Texans do shop Hopkins in a trade, the answer to which teams should be interested is easy: All of them.
Hopkins is a phenomenal talent, perhaps the best receiver in the NFL. Over the last three years, he averaged 105 catches, 1,372 yards and 11 touchdowns. And he’s on a team-friendly contract. Again, it would be crazy for the Texans to trade him.
If the Texans do trade him, the Green Bay Packers should be in the conversation. They desperately need a receiver to go alongside Davante Adams. The Miami Dolphins have the draft capital to pull a trade. The Las Vegas Raiders, whose move for Antonio Brown didn’t work out last year, could have a huge star to market in a new city. Any team that feels it’s one big piece away should consider the possibility, even though it might not happen.
Would the Texans really trade one of the most talented players in the NFL? It seems unlikely. But they could get a lot in return. It would certainly spice up the offseason if they did move Hopkins.
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