Houston, We Have A Problem

Sam Schneider   | March 18th, 2020 

I saw some very strange things on Monday. Netflix automatically started an episode of The Masked Singer (spoiler: not a fan), there was wall-to-wall pandemic coverage including people doing the ‘Coronavirus Challenge’, and the internet notified me that March 16th is known as National Everything You Do Is Right Day. Unfortunately for fans of the Houston Texans, coach and general manager Bill O’Brien did not get the memo on that last one.

O’Brien shipped off one of the premier wide receivers in the NFL, DeAndre Hopkins, and a 2020 fourth-round pick to the Arizona Cardinals for two draft picks and what’s left of David Johnson and his $13 million dollar contract. The associated picks going to Houston are a second-rounder this year and a fourth-round pick next season, with the deal completely befuddling fans and NFL players alike.

In a vacuum the deal is terrible, but O’Brien tried to explain it away as though there was a rift between the team and Hopkins because he wanted an extension before his deal expired in three years. O’Brien should know that these are the types of things that go on in the NFL and it’s certainly no reason to part with an integral part of your team for “chump change” just because you’re butthurt over something that’s gone on behind the scenes. In this case, we may never even know the whole truth.

This is hardly a new thing to Houston fans. Just before last season O’Brien was part of the magnificent brain trust who also dumped Jadeveon Clowney as he was holding out, shipping him off to Seattle for a package including Barkevious Mingo, Jacob Martin, and a pick in this year’s third round. Between two great players in Hopkins and Clowney, the Texans couldn’t even score a first-round pick. Meanwhile, the Buffalo Bills sent a king’s ransom (three picks this season including a first-rounder and one pick in 2021) to the Vikings for Stephon Diggs, a great wideout but not a DeAndre Hopkins.

I suppose poor ol’ Bill was just doing the type of thing he had seen before during his time in Houston. Remember, this is the same organization that practically drove a dump truck filled with $72 million dollars right over to Brock Osweiler’s house in 2016 and look how that worked out.

Fans of the Texans have already petitioned CEO Cal McNair to fire O’Brien as both coach and general manager but he’ll almost certainly see the start of the season, meaning we’ll all be treated to the usual clichés like “I’ve got to coach better”, “We can only play with the guys that are here” and “It’s time for us to turn the page”. It’s a shame since O’Brien is an excellent coach (insert sarcasm), as evidenced by his sparkling 52-44 record (2-4 postseason). It’s just too bad that he’s not getting more support from the GM.

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