Houston Texans

Howie Roseman explains why Eagles didn’t trade for DeAndre Hopkins

Howie Roseman explains why Eagles didn’t trade for DeAndre Hopkins

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. 

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Why didn't the Eagles offer the Texans more for DeAndre Hopkins?

Why didn't the Eagles offer the Texans more for DeAndre Hopkins?

The Texans and Cardinals shocked the NFL world on Monday when Houston sent DeAndre Hopkins to Arizona for David Johnson and a second-round pick (and swapped fourth-rounders).

If that sounds like an extremely affordable price for one of the best receivers in the league, that's because... it is. Which left plenty of Eagles fans wondering on Monday afternoon: Why didn't Howie Roseman do that deal?

It's not a secret that Roseman and the Birds need to fix the wide receiver position. Alshon Jeffery is likely gone, Nelson Agholor is likely gone, DeSean Jackson isn't getting younger, and J.J. Arcega-Whiteside showed little in 2019. Pairing Hopkins with Carson Wentz would've injected much-needed talent into Doug Pederson's offense.

The Texans don't have a 2020 first-round pick, and the Eagles are likely looking to use theirs on a wide receiver, so they could've offered it up instead of the Cardinals' second-rounder. 

It seems like a no-brainer, so... what happened?

Here are three possible reasons Roseman didn't make the move.

1. The (eventual) price

As it stands, Hopkins' contract is ideal. He has three years left with a cap hit between $12 million and $14 million per year, which gives you a No. 1 wideout option on a reasonably affordable deal. 

The problem, of course, is that Hopkins saw Julio Jones' deal from last September - a three-year, $66 million contract - and he likely wants something closer to those numbers:

The Eagles committed a sizable amount of money to Wentz last offseason, they have big bucks invested in Fletcher Cox, and they're paying Lane Johnson a ton until at least 2024. Roseman is a cap wizard, but Hopkins isn't going to be cheap, and they have plenty of other holes - hello, cornerback - that will also run up their bill.

The Cardinals, on the other hand, have a young QB on a rookie deal, and they want to surround him with talent. This is a good way to do it.

2. The personnel

Elsewhere, it's possible the Texans - for whatever reason - valued David Johnson as an asset so much that even an Eagles first rounder wouldn't have move the needle for Bill O'Brien.

Johnson, 28, has been a fantasy legend for years, and while his on-field production hasn't exactly matched up, he certainly has a reputation. The Texans would've likely asked for Miles Sanders from the jump, and I can't see Roseman entertaining that idea for a second after Sanders showed he fits perfectly alongside Wentz.

3. Bill O'Brien's unpredictability

Finally, the timing on this trade was odd. In a similar vein to the LeSean McCoy-to-Kiko Alonso trade, it seems like this deal happened... pretty fast. There was little-to-no smoke around a Hopkins trade leading up to Monday, with most of the league trying to figure out NFL Draft contingency plans amidst the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Then, suddenly, an early-Monday morning report mentioned Hopkins' availability, and before mid-afternoon he was headed to the NFC. It's possible Roseman never even had a shot at stealing the star wideout away from Bill O'Brien. Just look at the deal - it doesn't seem particularly well-thought-out.

Whatever the case, Hopkins is in the NFC now, and the Eagles still need wide receiver talent. We'll see what's next.

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NFL Week 15 schedule: Derrick Gunn's 5 games to watch

NFL Week 15 schedule: Derrick Gunn's 5 games to watch

Here are my games to watch for in Week 15 of the NFL season:

Bears at Packers — Sunday, 1 p.m. on FOX
The Bears are growling again. They have three straight wins and are playing like a playoff team. The only problem is their many stumbles along the way have them at just 7-6, and currently the No. 8 seed in the NFC playoff pitcure. They travel to Green Bay with revenge on their minds, still remembering the season-opening loss to the Packers. That the Packers are 10-3 — currently the No. 2 seed in the NFC — is amazing in itself. Defensively, they stop either the run or the pass but never both in a game. Offensively, they don’t score a lot of points and rarely win impressively, but the bottom line is more times than not they have found a way to win. First-year head coach Matt LeFleur has his squad believing in his system. The Pack will rack up their 11th W at Lambeau.

Texans at Titans — Sunday, 1 p.m. on CBS

One team is exciting by land, the other by air. Houston wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins gives defenses fits weekly. Tennessee RB Derrick Henry is a battering ram. These two are currently tied for the lead in the AFC South but after getting blasted by Denver last week, Houston is still in control based on best win percentage in division games. The Titans are currently the No. 7 seed. Since QB Ryan Tannehill replaced Marcus Mariota after Week 6, the Titans have won six of their last seven and four in a row. Houston has the capability of rising up for big games with wins over the Patriots and Chiefs, but the Titans are hot, and I’m going with the hot team at home. Side note: They'll meet again Week 17.

Vikings at Chargers — Sunday, 4:05 p.m. on CBS

The only thing the Chargers have left to play for is pride and the Vikings are jockeying for better seeding and a possible division title. Under Mike Zimmer, the Vikings have not fared well when traveling west, sporting a 1-6 record in road games played in the Mountain or Pacific time zones. Two of the Chargers' five wins have come against the NFC North. The Vikings' defense is starting to jell again and they’ll need cohesiveness on D because Philip RIvers' offense can light it up at any given moment. The Vikings know what’s at stake — it wont be easy, but they’ll find a way to get the job done.

Rams at Cowboys — Sunday, 4:25 p.m. on FOX

Don’t look now, but the Rams are starting to play like the team that represented the NFC in last season’s Super Bowl. They’ve won three in a row with the offense functioning like a well-oiled machine and the defense making plays. As for Dallas, fans are calling for heads to roll, starting with head coach Jason Garrett. They’ve lost three straight and haven’t beaten a quality opponent all season. With that said, they somehow still control the NFC East. They have the the talent all over the field, yet don’t have the wins to show for it. What should have been a promising season will be a disaster if they don’t find a way to rebound and make the playoffs. Sorry, Dallas, until you prove otherwise, you’re just not ram tough enough to win this one.

Bills at Steelers — Sunday, 8:20 p.m. on NBC

Just when it looked like Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin would have to endure his first losing season in Pittsburgh, his squad has risen from the ashes. A team that was 1-4 at one point is now 8-5, riding a three-game winning streak, and currently the sixth seed in the AFC. What’s even more impressive is that Tomlin is using his third QB of the season. Rookie free agent Devlin “Duck” Hodges has been on the winning side on all three of his starts. The defense has tightened the loose gaps and is playing 'Burgh ball. The Bills have been writing an incredible story of their own. They are currently the fifth seed and just one game behind New England in the AFC East. Buffalo is striving for its first 10-win season since 1999. It will also be Buffalo’s first Sunday night appearance in 12 years. Two good defenses in this one. Two teams hoping to move one step closer to solidifying a playoff spot. This one has the makings of a brass knuckles brawl with the Steelers delivering the final knockout blow.

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