The Washington football team is equally desperate to improve its wide receiver corps.
Surprisingly, with the exception of Terry McLaurin, a 2019 third-round pick who finished with 1,000 to 81 yards last year, first-year head coach Ron Rivera’s team helped second-year quarterback Dwayne Haines Jr. The goal is to search for upgrades.
This week, he has tried to comb through the free agent pool by working four receivers, Former Arizona Cardinal Hakim Butler. Last Sunday, former Cardinals quarterback Logan Thomas led the team with eight goals from his tight end position.
It would have been nice, then, if Washington had known in March that DeAndre Hopkins, one of the best receivers in the game, was on the trading block for the Houston Texans.
“No, we had no sense that he was in the market,” Rivera told Washington reporters on Wednesday.
Asked if he was surprised that Texas, led by coach and executive Bill O’Brien, traded Hopkins to the Arizona Cardinals, Rivera responded positively.
“Yes, like everyone else,” he said. “We were all shocked. Here a talented player is playing for a team, for which he played very well and they traded him. It was a decision that was made on the other team. ”
Actually it was. As you may have heard, the Cardinals traded running back David Johnson in a deal that also included three draft picks. The swap at the time was seen as a steal for Arizona.
Texas acquired the Cardinals’ second-round pick in 2020 and a fourth-round pick in 2021. But he also sent a 2020 fourth-rounder to Arizona, who was being eliminated by the Cardinals to tackle nose rusher Lawrence.
Johnson had a great start for Houston, scoring 11 carries for 77 yards and a score this weekend. Hopkins’ 14 catches for 151 yards on Sunday showed his influence for the Cardinals in a 49-yard win at Arizona.
Nevertheless, the offseason trade looked far from a good one compared to other top receivers.
For example, the Minnesota Vikings sent Stephen Diggs to a 2020 first rounder (No. 22 overall), a 2020 fifth rounder, a 2020 sixth rounder, and a 2021 fourth rounder. Minnesota also sent a seventh-round pick to Buffalo.
Rivera’s comments on Wednesday seem to suggest Houston did not do the best to build the market to trade away from Hopkins, a four-time pro bowler in his prime.
Maybe because they were solidifying Hopkins by sending them to a destination that was appealing to the receiver’s comments. The Texans value Johnson’s abilities, which should not go without a mention, and it is true that many teams other than Arizona did not want to deal with Hopkins’ desire to recreate their contract positions.
Only those with quarterbacks on rookie deals may be able to do so – though again, Hawkins’ contract is shorter than Cardinals quarterback Kylar Murray.
The evidence still indicates Texas is missing an opportunity to get a little more for one of the best receivers in the game.