DeAndre Hopkins, David Johnson, Kyler Murray among big winners in Cardinals, Texans trade

Jeremy Cluff
Arizona Republic
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The Arizona Cardinals and Houston Texans kicked off the NFL league year with a reported blockbuster trade involving wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins and running back David Johnson.

Many NFL pundits considered the Cardinals big winners immediately after the announcement of the deal's details, but several individuals were also listed as being winners in the trade.

Among them? Arizona quarterback Kyler Murray and both Hopkins, now a member of the Cardinals and Johnson, now on the Texans.

Check out who fared well in the deal, according to several NFL writers (click here to see the losers of the trade, those that did not fare well, according to NFL pundits).

MORE:David Johnson trade grades: Houston Texans slammed for DeAndre Hopkins deal with Cardinals

Arizona Cardinals

USA TODAY Sports' Nate Davis wrote: "The Air Raid suddenly looks pretty lethal with Drake (probably), Hopkins and offensive rookie of the year Kyler Murray."

Sportsnaut's Matt Johnson wrote:  "The Cardinals would have just been happy to get out of David Johnson’s contract, which carries a $14.1 million cap hit next season. The front office knew they would need to attach a draft pick to get out of the full deal and they accomplished it. Somehow, Cardinals general manager Steve Keim convinced Bill O’Brien to include Hopkins. Hopkins, a first-team All-Pro selection in each of the past three seasons, only turns 28 in June. He recorded 95-plus receptions and 1,100-plus receiving yards over that span, too. Hopkins is a big-play threat with the ability to make highlight catches thanks to his absurd catch radius. Now with a No. 1 receiver in Kliff Kingsbury’s offense, Arizona can use the No. 8 overall pick on a top offensive tackle. After that, this offense will be ready to dominate for years to come."

CBS Sports' Tyler Sullivan wrote: "General manager Steve Keim is probably still pinching himself at this very moment. Not only were the Cardinals able to dump David Johnson's contract, but they were able to land star receiver DeAndre Hopkins in the process. Bananas, I know. Not even virtual GMs in Madden would think a deal like this is possible. By acquiring the likes of Hopkins, who is currently signed through the 2022 season, the Cardinals have a clear-cut No. 1 receiver and heir apparent to Larry Fitzgerald whenever he elects to walk away from the game. This also bolsters the weapons around second year quarterback Kyler Murray in what promises to be a very prolific offense in 2020. Placing the transition tag on running back Kenyan Drake also gives Arizona the power to match any free agent offer he gets."

DeAndre Hopkins

Davis wrote: "An all-pro the past three seasons, the 27-year-old could post some truly sublime numbers playing with Drake, Murray and fellow WRs Larry Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk."

MORE:NFL mock draft: DeAndre Hopkins trade shifts Arizona Cardinals' focus in 2020 NFL draft

Kliff Kingsbury

Fansided's Josh Hill wrote: "Lost in the madness of how excited we are to see Kyler Murray team up with DeAndre Hopkins is what this means for the man behind the curtain. Kingsbury just went from a guy who openly admitted he thought he would be fired after his first game with the Cardinals to an early dark horse for Coach Of The Year. Without Hopkins in the offense, Kingsbury laid the groundwork for an Air Raid attack that was starting to catch on the more Murray settled in. Year two is always a tricky one for flashy quarterbacks (especially when they come from Oklahoma) so we need to be careful not to get too far ahead of ourselves. But for everyone that laughed at the Cardinals for both drafting Murray and hiring Kingsbury, laugh no more. It now appears an actual plan is coming together in the desert and Kingsbury is about to lead the charge."

Wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (10) makes a reception for a touchdown as Indianapolis Colts cornerback Pierre Desir (35) defends during the fourth quarter at NRG Stadium last season.

Kyler Murray

The Big Lead's Ryan Phillips wrote: "Hoo boy, this is going to be fun. The one thing Murray didn't have as a rookie was an elite, go-to No. 1 receiver. Now he's got one of the best in the NFL. Hopkins, Larry Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk will form a really nice trio, giving Murray an excellent group of targets. Murray was the NFL's Offensive Rookie of the Year without Hopkins. Imagine what he can do with him and another year of seasoning. This was a huge trade for Arizona's quarterback."'s Zach Frydenlund wrote: "Last year was a bit of a struggle for Kyler Murray. Yes, he won the Rookie of the Year award, but the Cardinals struggled and he had plenty of rookie moments. That's to be expected, especially with a brand new coach. Well, things should get much better for Murray in year two with the addition of Hopkins. Like, they just added one of the best WRs in the NFL and gave up very little. Insane."

Johnson wrote: "Murray displayed incredible potential in his rookie season, but he was clearly missing that No. 1 receiver. He campaigned for the Cardinals to draft CeeDee Lamb with the No. 8 overall pick. While he won’t get that wish, something tells us he’ll love this move even more. Hopkins is the caliber of weapon that Murray has never experienced in his life, very few NFL quarterbacks have. Whether Murray throws a 50-yard dime right into Hopkins’ hands or he needs him to make a one-handed catch along the sideline, Hopkins will do it. This is the pivotal moment that will help Murray make a meteoric rise next season. He’ll likely get an offensive tackle to protect him on the right side now, too."

MORE:Arizona Cardinals' NFL playoff, Super Bowl odds surge after DeAndre Hopkins trade

David Johnson

Phillips wrote: "Johnson's career just got the clean slate and the change of scenery it needed. Since signing a three-year, $39 million deal with the Cardinals in 2018, Johnson's career has been a mess. After rising up to be one of the NFL's best running backs, Johnson missed virtually all of the 2017 season with a wrist injury. He returned in 2018 but wasn't the same, rushing for only 940 yards, while adding 446 receiving yards. He played in just 13 games in 2019, rushing for 345 yards and catching 36 passes for 370 yards. Now Johnson will have a chance to reestablish himself as a legitimate rushing threat. He's only 28 and the Texans have been looking for someone to take over as the team's top back. This sets up perfectly for him."

Davis wrote: "Arizona's commitment to Drake was the precursor of a departure for Johnson, dealt to Houston with a 2020 second-round pick and 2021 fourth-rounder, for Hopkins and a 2020 Round 4 selection."

MORE:DeAndre Hopkins trade grades: Arizona Cardinals praised for David Johnson deal with Texans

Larry Fitzgerald

Frydenlund wrote: "You have to love this for Larry Fitzgerald, who now may finish his career out on a winning team. Things will be much easier for Fitz with Hopkins on the other side of him on offense, which means the future Hall of Famer should eat all season. "

MORE:Bill O'Brien, Deshaun Watson among big losers in Houston Texans' DeAndre Hopkins trade

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