The Houston Texans continue to move forward to the 2020 season and running back David Johnson is already a marked man. With the negative blowback due to the Texans sending DeAndre Hopkins to the Arizona Cardinals.
With the report that Hopkins wanted a bump in salary, the Texans took all of Johnson's contract for the remaining two years of his deal. Johnson arrives to the Texans, costing the Texans $11,156,250 million, and then on March 20th, Johnson will have $2.1 million of his 2021 $9 million salary guaranteed.
Phased out with the Cardinals and the regime change with Kliff Kingsbury, Johnson only appeared in 13 games. After the Cardinals traded for Kenyan Drake, Johnson played 333 (55.5/game) offensive snaps in the first six games of the season, and then in the final seven games of the season, he only played 104 (14.9/game) offensive snaps.
Unhappy with his role with the offense with the Cardinals, Johnson took the high road and kept conversations between him and the coaching staff private regarding him being phased out in the game plan.
"It's obviously been hard," Johnson said in late November of last season. "In the past, I was in the majority of the snaps. It's been rough. I've just got to move past it and make the most of every opportunity."
Johnson was dealing with a mid-season ankle injury that slowed him but the emergence of Drake and Chase Edmonds pushed the once dependable Johnson to the side.
After the trade was completed, Johnson took to Twitter and posted, "LETS GO HOUSTON!!! See you soon."
Johnson was also happy for his newest teammate and the signing of Randall Cobb.
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Trying to find his way with his new team through social media, Johnson appears to finally be happy with what transpired last week sending him to Houston.
Being part of the running back tandem with Duke Johnson for the 2020 season, David Johnson is going to have to prove his worth in a hurry. His contract numbers will mean little if he can return to the 2016 form that garnered him First-Team All-Pro honors by rushing for 1,239 yards (4.2 yards per carry) and catching 80 passes for 879 yards and 20 total touchdowns.
For now, the new beginning for Johnson will be met with skeptical eyes due to he was traded for, being the third highest-paid running back in the NFL, and having a down season with the Cardinals in 2019.
Unhappy and with a nagging ankle injury in 2019, Johnson's production took a severe dip. Missing a season due to a wrist injury that needed surgery also shows the wear and tear a running back can take at the position.
Looking for a new start with the Texans, Johnson is already behind the eight-ball due to being part of a trade that resulted in one of the most popular Texans players being traded in Hopkins.
The only way for Johnson to win over people is to prove throughout the season that he can produce with the football in his hands. Until then, Johnson will be criticized for being part of a trade he had no control over.
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