Well, he is. But only in name as after the trade he made yesterday I’m not entirely sure he knows what he’s doing.
So let’s start there. The Texans sent star receiver DeAndre Hopkins and a fourth round pick to the Cardinals in exchange for running back David Johnson (and his massive contract), a second round pick and a fourth round pick next year.
First off – DeAndre Hopkins is arguably a top five wide receiver in the league and is responsible for about 30% of Deshaun Watson’s receptions during his career. The Texans were (and yes, past tense is necessary here) in a Super Bowl window providing that O’Brien made a few tweaks to the roster. Instead he’s taken a mallet to it and targeted one of his best players, if not his best player. Hopkins’ contract is pretty team friendly as well – between $12m-$13m over the next three years. Rumours are that he wants more to put him alongside the likes of Michael Thomas and Julio Jones, but the thing is – he’s worth it.
David Johnson is not worth his contract. The running back had two stellar years which the Cardinals rewarded him with a big contract in a time when running backs were getting big contracts. A lot has changed since then and Johnson fell to No.3 in the depth chart in Arizona. In 2020, Johnson’s contract is over $11m on the cap. $11m for an out of form running back. If you add Johnson’s contract to Duke Johnson’s contract (the other RB on the Texans roster) that’s $3m more than what Hopkins was getting.
It’s the trade which proves that Bill O’Brien might well be out of his depth. He’s a good coach, but not a GM. Let’s not forget that before this he gave up two first round picks for Laremy Tunsil. Yes, a left tackle is highly important and Tunsil is one of the better, younger left tackles in the league that the Texans could build around – but only if they have the draft capital with which to build around him. He’s also in the last year of his contract and will be expecting BIG money for a new deal.
Next up, the Texans will sign wide receiver Randall Cobb to a three year $27m contract. I like Cobb, he’s a good player. But he’s not Hopkins and he’s not a player worth three years and $27m. I’m yet to see all of the contract but I do know that it’s $18.75 GUARANTEED! He’s 30 years old (three years older than Hopkins) and whilst he’s had good production in former years, he’s not a No.1 receiver, something that the Texans now badly need with Will Fuller often injured.