Around the country, jaws hit the floor when NFL All-Pro wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins was dealt from the Houston Texans to the Arizona Cardinals last month. Everyone except for Hopkins.
"It wasn't a big surprise to me," Hopkins said on a conference call with Arizona media members. "After the year, I was preparing for it.”
According to Texans head coach Bill O'Brien, Hopkins was traded because he was looking for a new contract beyond where the franchise was trying to go. Hopkins is still looking for that new deal with the Cardinals, and general manager Steve Keim said he's begun talks with Hopkins agent, but the receiver wants to leave that to them behind closed doors. He's focused on football in his new home.
“I was very excited actually," Hopkins said of his trade to the Valley. "What Arizona has been building, having a young quarterback, a young team, and also having veterans.”
Hopkins said he sees many similarities between his former quarterback, Deshaun Watson, and his new quarterback, Kyler Murray. With no offseason program, Hopkins has been trying to get familiar with the Cardinals offense by watching videos.
“I think I watched Kyler highlights more than I've ever watched my own highlights," he said with a laugh. “I don't think it's going to be something that would be a big problem because we're professional athletes, and I've been in NFL for seven years and played under two different offenses, so I'm familiar with offensive changes, so I think it'd be pretty smooth.”
In addition to being one of the best receivers in the NFL, Hopkins already made an imprint in the community, donating $150,000 to the Arizona Coronavirus Relief Fund as soon as he got to the Valley.
“The welcome has honestly been overwhelming. I feel at home even though I haven't even played a down here."