'It'll Be Done before the Draft': Kingsbury Optimistic about Hopkins Trade Finalization

Mason Kern

The blockbuster trade between the Cardinals and Texans that sent wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins to Arizona and running back David Johnson to Houston that was reported on March 16 and announced four days later still has not been finalized. With both players pending physicals, the process is moving at a snail-like pace due in part to the strain medical personnel across the country are under due to COVID-19 along with players having access to doctors for the physical that would be acceptable by the teams.

Despite these setbacks, Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury is optimistic that Hopkins will officially be a member of the team before the NFL Draft goes virtual on April 23. 

"There's no concern," Kingsbury said on a videoconference with reporters on Tuesday. "Those (physicals) aren't official as far as I know at this point, but we'll get it done. There's obviously — the medical field and personnel have much bigger fish to fry at this point. It's been slower than it (normally) would be, but I have no doubts it'll be done before the draft."

General manager Steve Keim has made some seemingly successful moves on the surface this offseason. The Hopkins trade was the crown jewel of the team's free agency haul, not only because of the caliber of player he is, but because they unloaded all of Johnson's contract in the process.

"It all happened pretty quickly," Kingsbury said. "Steve called me down to his office and said we had something in the works and they worked through it and got it done. I don't want to get too far into it because it's not official yet, but obviously he's a tremendous player, has been great, has been healthy, played at a high level for a long time and so we're all excited about it."

With Arizona entering year two of the Kyler Murray era, the franchise looks to improve on the 5-10-1 record they amassed during the quarterback's rookie season. With Hopkins in the fold, it might allow passing game coordinator Tom Clements and Kingsbury to get more creative and expand out of the common 10-personnel looks from last season.

"We're not afraid to roll it out there," Kingsbury said. "But I think the first month (of 2019), it's what we felt comfortable with, with our quarterback spreading things out, being in those open sets where he could see and operate at a level we felt gave us the best chance to win. But we're going to adapt to our personnel. I felt like we did a better job of that as a staff moving forward. And whoever we have on our roster now, we'll adapt to that and put the best four guys out there that we can put out there."