ARIZONA CARDINALS

DeAndre Hopkins, David Johnson pass physicals following Cardinals’ big trade

Apr 15, 2020, 3:07 PM | Updated: 9:00 pm

(Getty Images)...

(Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

Arizona Cardinals general manager Steve Keim spoke to the media Wednesday for the first time since executing the trade for DeAndre Hopkins.

Keim was effusive in his praise of Hopkins, which is good, because both Hopkins and his trade counterpart David Johnson passed their physicals, it became known on Wednesday.

“I feel like DeAndre is a game-changer,” Keim said on the video conference call. “He’s a guy that can play on the perimeter. He’s physical, he’s got a great catching radius, strong hands, really good after the catch and he’s a tenacious competitor.”

The coronavirus pandemic likely was part of why it took so long for the Hopkins trade to get moving, as social distancing measures have people worrying about things other than getting a physical for a football trade. But that blockbuster deal inched along further Wednesday when Johnson tweeted that he passed his physical, a necessary step for him to join the Houston Texans.

“Both those players passed their physicals and I was alerted this morning, so that trade will commence,” Keim said.

Texans coach and GM Bill O’Brien was criticized heavily for the trade, which was deemed by observers far and wide to be about as lopsided as it gets. Keim was asked how such a trade came about.

“It’s no different from any other trade. You have conversations with teams throughout the league and see whether there’s opportunities to try to improve your roster,” he said. “DeAndre was a guy that myself and several others in the organization had been really high on. So to be able to get a player of his caliber and to add to the weapons that we already posses can certainly take us to the next level.

“When it comes to David Johnson, he did some good things here. Wish him well. And hopefully he’ll do the same for the Texans. It’d be nice to see both parties get something out of this and for both players to have success moving forward.”

Johnson, once the Cardinals’ star running back, fell to becoming the butt of a joke as he was deemed insufficient return for the All-Pro receiver Hopkins. But his time in Arizona saw him emerge as one of the sport’s best backs in 2016, and he and the Texans each hope that Johnson returns to that level.

Meanwhile in Arizona, the mock drafts have overwhelmingly favored the Cardinals taking an offensive lineman with the eighth overall pick after Arizona got Hopkins and inked free agents to the front seven, but Keim admitted that the trade for Hopkins doesn’t rule out drafting a wide receiver.

“I think the one thing you have to look at, not just the DeAndre Hopkins acquisition, but you want to look at the long-term contracts that you have in place, whether guys can play inside or outside at those positions,” he said. “So if there’s a player that we covet and it’s at the right spot and somebody that we’re high on, we’ll certainly take advantage of that.”

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