Much of what athletes say is scrutinized on an analytical level to decipher the true meaning behind their statements. Not a whole lot is needed to understand the tweet Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins put out Thanksgiving Thursday.
Hopkins expressed his appreciation for the Cardinals, while subsequently throwing shade on the Houston Texans, the organization that traded him in March.
"I’m thankful for the @AZCardinals believing in me enough to trade me for a 2nd rounder," Hopkins wrote.
His statement holds validity. The Texans shipped Hopkins and his contract concerns off to the Cardinals in March, along with a fourth-round pick in the 2020 draft that turned into nose tackle Rashard Lawrence, in exchange for running back David Johnson, a second-round 2020 pick and fourth-round 2021 pick. The Texans chose defensive lineman Ross Blacklock with the selection given to them in the trade.
Johnson has played and started in eight games for Houston this season, posting 408 yards on 103 attempts (four yards-per-carry) and three touchdowns. His total rushing production is No. 28 in the NFL. Meanwhile, Hopkins has played and started 10 games for Arizona, accumulating 72 catches (third in the NFL) and 912 yards (first) for 12.7 yards-per-reception) and four touchdowns.
The Cardinals gave Hopkins a two-year contract extension worth $54.5 million with $47.25 million fully guaranteed at signing, including a $27.5 million signing bonus. The 2020 compensation is $29 million with the the signing bonus and guaranteed $1.5 million salary. The Texans were unwilling to give Hopkins a new payout, leading to their willingness to deal.
Hopkins also took the time to extend public Thanksgiving well wishes to Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford.
For Hopkins' efforts this season, he currently has the most Pro Bowl votes of any wide receiver in the NFL after the first tally and the fifth-most across all positions with 127,039. His value only trails Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook and Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce.