What's the Holdup? Hopkins Trade to Arizona Still Not Official

Brad Senkiw

Is there a chance that DeAndre Hopkins ends up back in Houston?

Three weeks after the Texans agreed to send former Clemson receiver DeAndre Hopkins and a 2020 draft pick to the Arizona Cardinals for running back David Johnson and a pair of draft picks, it's a question worth asking.

The trade that shook up the league last month has yet to become official. 

Kliff Kingsbury, however, said Tuesday during a conference call with the media that he expects that to change within the next two weeks. 

"There's not concern, but those aren't official, as far as I know, at this point, but we'll get it done," the second-year Arizona head coach said. "Obviously the medical field and personnel have much bigger fish to fry at this point. And so, it's been slower than it would be, but I have no doubt it's going to be done before the (April 23 NFL) draft."

Kingsbury seems confident there will be no issues, but the fact is the trade can't become official until both Hopkins and Johnson pass physical examinations. According to Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio, that reportedly hasn't happened.

There doesn't appear to be a reason why either wouldn't pass their physicals. Johnson, who suffered a wrist injury last season, did pass a preliminary exam of the wrist already, although he was described as not having a full range of motion. 

COVID-19 has made much of the NFL's offseason process difficult to complete, but players still have access to doctors during the pandemic. 

However, if either player doesn't pass their physicals, a new deal would have to be worked out, and the time is running out on that. The NFL draft is scheduled April 23-25. The Texans are getting a second-round pick in this draft. The Cardinals gained a fourth-round selection, so if the deal isn't official in that two-week time frame, it throws another wrench into both teams' plans moving forward. 

Hopkins has said nothing to make anyone think he's leaving Houston on bad terms, but coach Bill O'Brien has been under criticism since making the trade and even defended it last week, saying giving up a three-time All-Pro receiver who had three years left on his current contract was made "in the best interest" of the team and that Hopkins wanted more money. 

Hopkins, meanwhile, has been embracing the Phoenix community and is excited about playing with quarterback Kyler Murray and legendary receiver Larry Fitzgerald. 

The Central native, who played three years for the Tigers, did spend some time this week hanging out with and keeping up with Texans players, including former Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson. 

Hopkins had over 1,000 receiving yards in five of his seven seasons in Houston, including all with Watson at QB. He had double-digit touchdowns four times and made four Pro Bowls in Houston.

Johnson rushed for over 1,200 yards in 2016, his career season, but missed all but one game in 2017 and sat out six games last year with injuries.