When the Arizona Cardinals pulled off what appeared to be the heist of the century, nabbing DeAndre Hopkins from the Cardinals for David Johnson and a second-round pick, Eagles fans had a question for Howie Roseman:
Hey Howie, ARE YOU AWAKE!?!?
Because that deal was just too good to be true for the Cardinals. They’re getting arguably the best receiver in the NFL for what seems like an awfully low price. And if you haven’t noticed, the Eagles could certainly use some more … uh … depth at receiver.
But on a conference call Thursday morning, Roseman indicated that the Texans weren’t offering the Eagles the same deal they offered the Cardinals.
The Hopkins one, I get that this is a hot-button topic for us,” Roseman said. “I think that, again, we gotta also look at it from the perspective of the other team. What their ask is for us may be different, depending on their valuation of players they get in trades or where draft picks are. So, it's not always apples to apples.
“I’m not saying that as an excuse, I'm just saying the reality of the situation is there are a lot of trades that we look at where I'll call the GM and say, you know, 'We talked about this. Why would you do it for this?' And they'll say, 'Well, I really like this player' or 'I like where this pick is.' So, I think there's a lot that goes into it and we're not always in control of the results on that.
Just after the trade was executed, I joked that the Eagles didn’t do the move because they didn’t have an aging running back on a high-priced deal.
Turns out I was kind of right.
Here’s a reminder of the terms of that trade:
Texans get: RB David Johnson, 2020 second-round pick, 2021 fourth-round pick
Cardinals get: WR DeAndre Hopkins, 2020 fourth-round pick
You can certainly argue that the Eagles still should have found a way to trade for Hopkins, but we’re not exactly sure what the price would have been for them. And when dealing with an inexperienced GM/coach like Houston’s Bill O’Brien, it’s hard to really figure out what he was thinking.
But here are the three most likely reasons this trade didn’t happen for the Eagles:
1. The Texans wanted David Johnson
While the rest of us see Johnson as an aging running back with diminishing skills who has had just one great season FOUR YEARS AGO, apparently O’Brien sees him as a vital part of the 2020 Texans. Maybe he’s right, maybe he’s wrong. But it seems like OB clearly overvalued Johnson, who at least had a comparable salary to Hopkins.
If the Texans really wanted Johnson, the Eagles didn’t have him. So, theoretically, if Johnson was the prize O’Brien was after, then the asking price for the Eagles would have been much higher.
2. The Cardinals’ pick was better
The Eagles didn’t have Johnson and then their 2020 second-round pick wasn’t as valuable as the Cardinals’ pick. The Eagles have No. 53 and the Cardinals traded away No. 40. So it’s easy to say the Eagles could have traded away their second-round pick in the trade, but the Cardinals’ pick was better, so the Eagles would have needed to sweeten the pot.
3. Hopkins wanted an extension
The issue with Hopkins is that while he’s still just 27, he wants a new contract. The Eagles were willing to trade for Darius Slay and grant his extension request, but Slay was entering the final year of his deal and the commitment was very team friendly. Meanwhile, Hopkins still has THREE years left on his current contract.
The Eagles will sometimes try to get deals done early to save in the long-term but redoing a deal with three years remaining is a bit excessive and might set a precedent the Eagles don’t want.
Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.