The Washington football team is just as desperate as others to improve its wide receiver corps.
With the exception of surprise Terry McLaurin, a third-round pick in 2019 who finished 81 yards less than 1,000 last year, first-year head coach Ron Rivera is leading the team after goal upgrades to help second-year quarterback Dwayne Haskins Jr.
This week, they have been trying to comb through the pool with free agent by drafting four receivers, including former Arizona Cardinal Hakeem Butler. Last Sunday, former Cardinals quarterback Logan Thomas led the team by eight goals from his close end position.
It would have been nice if Washington had known in March that one of the best receivers in the game, DeAndre Hopkins, was on the trading block for the Houston Texans.
“No, we had no idea he was in the market,” Rivera told Washington reporters on Wednesday.
When asked if he was surprised that the Texans, led by coach and executive Bill O’Brien, traded Hopkins to the Arizona Cardinals, Rivera replied in the affirmative.
“Yes, just like everyone else,” he said. “We were all surprised. Here is a talented player playing for a team he had played very well for and they traded him. It was a decision made on another team. ”
That was it, in fact. As you may have heard, Cardinals’ David Johnson traded back with a deal that also included three drafts. The prey was considered a steal for Arizona at the time.
The Texans acquired the Cardinals’ second round in 2020 and fourth round in 2021. But they also sent Arizona to a fourth round in 2020, which ended up being used by the Cardinals to pick nose style Rashard Lawrence.
Johnson had a fine debut for Houston, taking 11 passes for 77 yards and a score over the weekend. Hopkins’ 14 catches on 151 yards Sunday in Arizona’s 49ers victory showed his impact on the Cardinals.
Still, the out-of-season trade compared to other top recipients looked far from a good trade.
For example, the Minnesota Vikings sent Stefon Diggs to the Buffalo Bills for a first-round in 2020 (No. 22 overall), a fifth-round in 2020, a sixth-round in 2020 and a fourth-round in 2021. Minnesota also sent a seventh round-selection Buffalo’s way.
Rivera’s comments Wednesday appear to indicate that Houston did not do the best job of building a market to trade Hopkins, a four-time Pro Bowler in its prime.
Maybe it’s because they made Hopkins solid by sending him to a destination that from the recipient’s comments page was appealing. The Texans seem to appreciate Johnson’s abilities, which should not go without mention, and it’s true that not many teams other than Arizona wanted to deal with Hopkins’ desire to recast his contract.
Only those with quarterbacks on rookie offers could have been able to do so – but again, Haskins’ contract is even smaller than Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray’s.
The evidence still points to the Texans missing an opportunity to get a little more for one of the best receivers in the game.