David Johnson shares most difficult part about trade from Cardinals

david johnson shares most difficult part about trade from cardinals
© Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports David Johnson, who was traded for DeAndre Hopkins last year, was part of one of the worst swaps in NFL history.

The Arizona Cardinals changed the trajectory of their franchise by trading away running back David Johnson in 2020. Now Johnson is sharing what the most difficult part about getting traded was.

Johnson, who was sent to the Houston Texans for star receiver DeAndre Hopkins, said in an interview with Aaron Reiss of The Athletic this week that the magnitude of being traded for Hopkins made things tough on him.

“I was in such a fishbowl,” said the former All-Pro. “Everything I did was going to be magnified because of the trade. Honestly, I felt like if I was traded for anyone else, it wouldn’t be as bad. I think just the magnitude of the trade is what made it so stressful.

“I felt like I was constantly having a lot of adversity thrown at me,” Johnson continued. “I was just getting real frustrated, really mad. The biggest thing for me is I was bringing it home to my wife and kids, being stressed and carrying it over from the game or the facility to my wife. I felt like they didn’t deserve that.”

Even though Johnson was a Pro Bowler and All-Pro in Arizona, the Texans were pummeled for getting such a seemingly poor return for arguably the NFL’s best receiver in Hopkins. The critics have ultimately been proven right with Hopkins helping lead the Cardinals to a perfect 6-0 record this season en route to Super Bowl hopes. Meanwhile, Johnson is stuck on a dysfunctional 1-5 Texans team while fighting for touches with Mark Ingram and Phillip Lindsay.

It is unfair to blame Johnson for the Texans’ shortcomings in handling the whole situation. But many inevitably will, and it must be extra difficult for Johnson seeing how much his former team is thriving without him.

Subscribe to Yardbarker’s Morning Bark, the most comprehensive newsletter in sports. Customize your email to get the latest news on your favorite sports, teams and schools. Emailed daily. Always free! Sign up now ▸

More must-reads:

Cardinals’ Chandler Jones clears COVID-19 list, could play vs. TexansCardinals HC Kliff Kingsbury still on COVID-19 list ahead of Texans gameThe ‘Arizona/St. Louis Cardinals with 1,000 receiving yards’ quiz

Related slideshow: The worst trades in NFL history (Provided by Yardbarker)

david johnson shares most difficult part about trade from cardinals
1/24 SLIDES © MSA/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The worst trades in NFL history

NFL fans often wonder what could have been after their favorite teams make terrible, head-scratching trades. Here’s a look at the worst trades in the history of the NFL.

david johnson shares most difficult part about trade from cardinals
2/24 SLIDES © John Glaser / USA Today Sports Images

2020: Texans acquire David Johnson for DeAndre Hopkins

The results of the trade have yet to play out, but Houston’s return for Hopkins looks quite iffy on paper. Bill O’Brien acquired Johnson, a second-round pick, and swapped fourth-round picks with Arizona for Hopkins and a fourth-round pick. Johnson saw only 130 touches in 2019 and last averaged 4 yards per carry in 2016, while Hopkins has clearly established himself as one of the top wide receivers in football. Given the suppressed value of running backs in today’s NFL, it’s hard to see this deal looking like anything but a disaster when it’s revisited.

david johnson shares most difficult part about trade from cardinals
3/24 SLIDES © Kirby Lee / USA Today Sports Images

2019: Raiders acquire Antonio Brown for two draft picks

Brown went to the Raiders for what was thought to be a cheap price of third- and fifth-round picks after quitting on the Steelers late in the 2018 season. The drama got even worse when Brown arrived to Oakland, however, as he missed part of training camp with frostbite on his feet after failing to wear proper footwear during cryotherapy and then refused to adopt the NFL’s new helmet requirements. The Raiders finally released Brown late in camp after he missed additional practices, had guaranteed money voided in his contract and had an altercation with GM Mike Mayock.

david johnson shares most difficult part about trade from cardinals
4/24 SLIDES © Bill Streicher / USA Today Sports Images

2018: Bears trade up for Mitchell Trubisky

The Bears dealt first-, third-, and fourth-round picks as well as a third-round selection in 2018, to San Francisco to move up just one spot in the 2017 draft for the rights to draft Trubisky. Not only has Trubisky struggled to develop in his first three NFL seasons, but the Bears also bypassed Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson in favor of the UNC alum. As time goes on, the trade and draft choice look worse and worse for Chicago.

david johnson shares most difficult part about trade from cardinals
Slideshow continues on the next slide
david johnson shares most difficult part about trade from cardinals
5/24 SLIDES © Tommy Gilligan / USA Today Sports Images

2017: Bills acquire Kelvin Benjamin for two draft picks

The still competitive Panthers shocked the football world when they traded Benjamin to the Bills for a third- and seventh-round pick at the 2017 trade deadline. As it turned out, Carolina was selling high on the former 1,000 yard receiver, as he had only 217 yards in six games with the Bills and was released after 12 games the following year.

david johnson shares most difficult part about trade from cardinals
6/24 SLIDES © Isaiah J. Downing / USA Today Sports Images

2016: Browns acquire Jamie Collins for third-round pick

Despite making the Pro Bowl the previous year and starting six games in early 2016, the Patriots traded Collins to the lowly Browns for a third-round pick. Collins signed a contract extension with Cleveland following the year but was cut only two years into the deal. Of course, Collins returned as a top performer in 2019 for the Pats.

david johnson shares most difficult part about trade from cardinals
7/24 SLIDES © John Sommers II / Icon Sportswire

2013: Colts acquire Trent Richardson for first-round pick

Just one year after selecting Richardson third overall in the draft and seeing him run for 950 yards and 11 scores during his rookie season, Cleveland traded the young running back to the Colts for a first-round pick only two weeks into the 2013 season. It was a trade that shocked the league, but the Browns would end up the clear winners after Richardson struggled with the Colts over two seasons. Richardson was cut after the 2014 season and never played another down in the NFL.

david johnson shares most difficult part about trade from cardinals
8/24 SLIDES © Cliff Welch / Icon Sportswire

2012: Redskins trade up for Robert Griffin III

Targeting Heisman Trophy winner Griffin III, the Redskins sent three first-round selections and a second-rounder to the Rams, who were set at quarterback with former first overall pick Sam Bradford. The blockbuster move was ill-fated for Washington — RG3 hurt his knee at the end of his rookie season, leading to a downward spiral for his career.

david johnson shares most difficult part about trade from cardinals
9/24 SLIDES © Kirk Sides / Icon Sportswire

2008: Cowboys acquire Roy Williams for draft picks

The Cowboys acquired Williams, a former Texas Longhorn, from the Lions in October, 2008, for a first-, third- and sixth-round pick. The former Pro Bowl wideout wasn’t able to come close to matching his early career performance while with the Cowboys, failing to reach even 600 yards in a season, and he was released following the 2010 season.

david johnson shares most difficult part about trade from cardinals
Slideshow continues on the next slide
david johnson shares most difficult part about trade from cardinals
10/24 SLIDES © Rich Kane / Icon Sportswire

2007: Dolphins trade Wes Welker for draft picks

A slot receiver and return man in his first three NFL seasons, Welker was traded from Miami to New England in 2007 for second- and seventh-round picks. The wideout went on to become a star with the Patriots, leading the NFL in receptions three times and making five consecutive Pro Bowls.

david johnson shares most difficult part about trade from cardinals
11/24 SLIDES © Gary Rothstein / Icon Sportswire

2007: Raiders trade Randy Moss for fourth-round pick

Moss never quite got comfortable in two expensive seasons with Oakland before the team traded the star wideout to New England for a fourth-round pick in 2007. After pairing with Tom Brady, Moss had one of the best seasons ever by a wide receiver en route to a 16-0 regular season with 1,493 yard and 23 touchdowns. He also surpassed 1,000 yards for the Patriots the following two seasons.

david johnson shares most difficult part about trade from cardinals
12/24 SLIDES © Bob Falcetti / Icon Sportswire

1999: Saints trade up for Ricky Williams

Desperate for a lead back, New Orleans traded first-, third-, fourth-, fifth-, sixth- and seventh-round picks in 1999, along with first- and third-round picks in 2000, to the Redskins for the second overall pick to take Williams. Williams had a productive NFL career as a running back but played only three seasons with the Saints.

david johnson shares most difficult part about trade from cardinals
13/24 SLIDES © Ezra Shaw / Getty Images

1998: Chargers trade up for Ryan Leaf

San Diego sent two first-round picks, a second-round pick and two players to the Cardinals to move from No. 3 to No. 2 in the first round. Leaf, the player San Diego selected, set the organization back years. Drafted after Peyton Manning went No. 1 overall to the Colts, Leaf is considered one of the biggest draft busts of all time.

david johnson shares most difficult part about trade from cardinals
14/24 SLIDES © Scott Halleran / Getty Images

1997: Bears acquire Rick Mirer for first-round pick

Mirer looked like a huge bust four years into his NFL career with the Seahawks, going 20-31 while completing only 53 percent of his passes. Yet somehow he still fetched a first-round pick from Chicago in a trade. The quarterback started only three games for Chicago, going winless. He was released following the season.

david johnson shares most difficult part about trade from cardinals
Slideshow continues on the next slide
david johnson shares most difficult part about trade from cardinals
15/24 SLIDES © Karl Wright / Icon Sportswire

1996: Rams trade Jerome Bettis for draft picks

Bettis made the Pro Bowl in his first two NFL seasons with the Rams but struggled during 1995 after the franchise moved to St. Louis and hired a new coaching staff. Team and player decided to move on, with the Rams trading Bettis to Pittsburgh with a third-round pick for the Steelers’ second- and fourth-round picks in 1997. St. Louis turned to draft bust Lawrence Phillips with its first-round pick in 1996 instead, while Bettis went on to produce six straight 1,000 yard rushing seasons in Pittsburgh and eventually was enshrined in Canton.

david johnson shares most difficult part about trade from cardinals
16/24 SLIDES © Sporting News Archive / Getty Images

1996: Rams trade Sean Gilbert to acquire first-round pick (Lawrence Phillips)

The Rams moved defensive end Sean Gilbert to Washington for the sixth-overall pick. St. Louis brushed Phillips’ off-field issues aside to take the former Nebraska running back. He lasted just over one year with the Rams, and Phillips also spurred the team to trade future Hall of Fame back Jerome Bettis.

david johnson shares most difficult part about trade from cardinals
17/24 SLIDES © Focus on Sport / Getty Images

1995: Bengals trade up for Ki-Jana Carter

Cincinnati moved up four spots to No. 1 overall in 1995, trading the expansion Panthers the fifth-overall pick and a second-round pick, to take Penn State running back Carter. Carter, who hurt his knee in his first preseason game, had only 227 carries over four seasons for the Bengals.

david johnson shares most difficult part about trade from cardinals
18/24 SLIDES © Focus on Sport / Getty Images

1990: Colts trade up for Jeff George

In a blockbuster trade with Atlanta, Indianapolis dealt Chris Hinton, Andre Rison, a 1990 fifth-round pick and 1991 first-round pick for the first overall pick, a fourth-round pick and a conditional pick. George, selected No. 1 overall, went 14-35 in four seasons with the Colts at quarterback.

david johnson shares most difficult part about trade from cardinals
19/24 SLIDES © Rick Stewart / Getty Images

1990: Vikings acquire Herschel Walker for five players and eight draft picks

Jimmy Johnson set up the Cowboys dynasty with an unbelievable trade in 1990, moving star running back Herschel Walker and four draft picks to Minnesota for five players, three first-round picks, three second-round picks, a third-round pick and a sixth-round pick. Walker played only two seasons in Minnesota, failing to rush for 1,000 yards in either campaign.

david johnson shares most difficult part about trade from cardinals
20/24 SLIDES © Icon Sports Media

1987: Bucs trade Steve Young to San Francisco

The Bucs selected Young with the first pick in the 1984 supplemental draft, but he went 3-16 in two seasons in Tampa Bay before getting traded to the 49ers for second- and fourth-round picks. Young would have to wait his turn behind Joe Montana, but he eventually emerged as the full-time starter in 1992 and went on an incredible seven year run as arguably the best quarterback in the NFL. The Bucs replaced Young with 1987 first overall draft choice Vinny Testaverde, who went 24-48 in six seasons with the team.

david johnson shares most difficult part about trade from cardinals
21/24 SLIDES © Jamie Squire / Getty Images

1983: Colts trade John Elway to Denver

Elway was drafted first overall by the Colts in 1983 but refused to play for them. The Broncos sent Chris Hinton, Mark Herrmann and a first-round pick to Baltimore for his rights, and Elway went on to become a Hall of Fame quarterback in Denver.

News Related

OTHER NEWS

Look: Baker Mayfield Reacts To Wild Caleb Williams Play

© Provided by The Spun Baker Mayfield celebrates Browns win. Oklahoma quarterback Caleb Williams just pulled off one of the most incredible heads-up plays in recent college football memory. With ... Read more »

Watch: Eli Manning reacts to number being retired by Ole Miss

© Provided by Fansided The Ole Miss football program celebrated the retirement of Eli Manning’s No. 10 jersey. There are now three numbers retired by the Ole Miss football program: No. 18 for ... Read more »

Fans Roast James Franklin After Penn State’s Horrible Loss

© Provided by The Spun Penn State Nittany Lions head coach James Franklin looks on against the USC Trojans. For years Penn State fans have heard the James Franklin to ... Read more »

College football media reacts to shocking D.J. Uiagalelei news

© Provided by Fansided With Clemson football’s woes continuing to add up, the Tigers finally benched struggling quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei against Pitt. D.J. Uiagalelei’s first season as a starter for ... Read more »

Look: College Football Fans Hate The New Overtime Rule

© Provided by The Spun Long shot view from fan’s perspective of Penn State’s Beaver Stadium. The NCAA made shortening overtime one of its missions heading into the 2021 college ... Read more »

Oklahoma message boards calling for Lincoln Riley's head after close call vs. Kansas

© Provided by Fansided Oklahoma football fans are calling for Lincoln Riley’s job on message boards after a close call in Lawrence vs. the lowly Kansas Jayhawks. There are plenty of ... Read more »

Look: Clemson Just Benched QB D.J. Uiagalelei

© Provided by The Spun D.J. Uiagalelei of Clemson drops back to pass. Clemson quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei entered this season with high expectations, in large part because he played well ... Read more »

College Football World Reacts To Penn State-Illinois Game

© Provided by The Spun Illinois at Penn State overtime game. Unranked Illinois just upset No. 7 Penn State 20-18 with a thrilling nine-overtime contest in Beaver Stadium. Under the ... Read more »

Bears Lose Star Player Before Game vs. Buccaneers

© Provided by The Spun A Chicago Bears helmet sitting on the field. The Bears has suffered a significant loss to their defensive line just 24 hours ahead of Sunday’s ... Read more »

NFL Decides On Fine For T.J. Watt After Punching Seahawks RB

© Provided by The Spun Pittsburgh Steelers’ T.J. Watt punches at Alex Collins of the Seahawks. The Pittsburgh Steelers and Seattle Seahawks played a hard-fought game on Sunday Night Football last week. ... Read more »

Halftime stats from LSU vs Ole Miss

© Provided by LSU Tigers Wire Well, the Tigers have managed to hold on. It seems like LSU has taken a turn for the better now that Orgeron has been ... Read more »

Broncos’ Jerry Jeudy to return in Week 8

© Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports Jerry Jeudy led the Broncos in receiving last season, totaling 856 yards as a rookie. A reeling Broncos team will have some much-needed receiver help ... Read more »

Cowboys: CeeDee Lamb fined for joke of a taunting penalty (Video)

© Provided by Fansided The NFL levied a pair of fines against the Dallas Cowboys in their overtime win over New England — most notably to wideout CeeDee Lamb. The ... Read more »

College football media lost their minds watching Penn State-Illinois go to 9 overtimes

© Provided by Fansided The Penn State Nittany Lions lost to the Illinois Fighting Illini in one of the weirdest ways possible. No game should ever go into nine overtimes ... Read more »

Atlanta vs Miami Prediction, Game Preview

© Provided by College Football News Atlanta vs Miami prediction, game preview, how to watch: Sunday, October 24 Atlanta vs Miami How To Watch Date: Sunday, October 24 Game Time: ... Read more »

Raiders TE Darren Waller Late Addition To Injury Report

© Provided by The Spun Darren Waller of the Raiders runs with the football. With kickoff less than 24 hours away, the Las Vegas Raiders have downgraded tight end Darren ... Read more »

Rules expert says referees screwed Kansas on Oklahoma handoff play, but Big 12 says play was legal

© Provided by Fansided NBC rules expert Terry McAuley said the referees messed up on the controversial fourth-down play that helped Oklahoma squeak by Kansas. Oklahoma has been playing with ... Read more »

3 people most to blame for Penn State losing to Illinois in 9OT

© Provided by Fansided Fingers can be pointed all around, but Penn State now has two losses on the year after falling in nine overtimes to Illinois at home on ... Read more »

James Franklin failing the test to be LSU and USC's top coaching candidate

© Provided by Fansided According to reports, James Franklin is being targeted by LSU and USC for their head coach vacancies, but the Penn State coach underwhelmed vs. Illinois. There ... Read more »

Patriots place CB Jonathan Jones on injured reserve

© Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports New England Patriots defensive back Jonathan Jones will miss at least three games. New England will be without its slot cornerback for at least ... Read more »

Broncos, Vikings Reportedly Agree To Trade

© Provided by The Spun A general view of the Denver Broncos stadium. Just two days after losing Von Miller, the Denver Broncos acquired a veteran pass rusher from the ... Read more »

Listen: Russian TV calling the end of the Penn State-Illinois 9OT game is exhilarating

© Provided by Fansided The Russian broadcast for the end of the nine overtime game between Penn State and Illinois game is fantastic. You need to check this out. The ... Read more »

Veteran NFL WR Reportedly Announces Retirement

© Provided by The Spun A general view of the Superdome during a Saints game. After spending a decade in the NFL, wide receiver Chris Hogan has decided to retire. ... Read more »

Look: Arch Manning Visiting Another SEC Program Today

© Provided by The Spun Arch Manning visiting the University of Georgia. Five-star quarterback Arch Manning is getting the five-star celebrity treatment in Oxford, Miss. this afternoon. Manning, the No. ... Read more »

Raiders downgrade TE Darren Waller, DT Quinton Jefferson to Questionable vs Eagles

© 8 8 As of Friday, the Raiders injury report was looking pretty good. Only reserve tight end Nick Bowers was on it. He is OUT for the game. All ... Read more »

Projected college football rankings after Oklahoma survives, Michigan rolls, Penn State upset in 9OT

© Provided by Fansided Expect for the top 10 teams in college football to look a bit different after Week 8’s results from the Oklahoma, Michigan and Penn State games. ... Read more »

College football world reacts to Wake Forest-Army score

© Provided by The Comeback Who knew that Saturday’s wildest game would end up being the one involving the Wake Forest Demon Deacons and Army Black Knights? We hope you ... Read more »

Skip Bayless had all-caps reaction to Caleb Williams going Superman vs. Kansas

© Provided by Fansided Caleb Williams got off to a slow start vs. Kansas but the Oklahoma football quarterback got an all-caps Tweet from Skip Bayless for his late-game heroics. ... Read more »

Sports Media World Reacts To Saturday’s NFL Trade

© Provided by The Spun Denver Broncos helmet on the field. On Saturday afternoon, college football took center stage, but the NFL showed it was still king of the news ... Read more »

Oklahoma Sooners Survive, beat Kansas Jayhawks 35-23

© Provided by Sooners Wire Of all the ugly wins the Oklahoma Sooners have achieved in 2021, their 35-23 win over the Kansas Jayhawks was easily the ugliest. Kansas jumped ... Read more »

Look: Lane Kiffin’s Pregame Outfit Is Going Viral

© Provided by The Spun Ole Miss v Alabama The Ole Miss Rebels will retire former quarterback Eli Manning’s number this Saturday, and head coach Lane Kiffin showed up to ... Read more »

Panthers CB Stephon Gilmore reportedly will not play in Week 7

© Provided by Panthers Wire Carolina Panthers cornerback Stephon Gilmore hasn’t played an NFL game in 307 days. Well, that count may get up to at least 314 by this ... Read more »

Caleb Williams savvy play had fans reminiscing when Ed Reed did it first

© Provided by Fansided Caleb Williams goes full-blown Ed Reed at The U to lead the Oklahoma football team to victory. History tends to repeat itself, as Oklahoma football player Caleb Williams ... Read more »

Look: Michigan Players Hauls In Ridiculous Interception

© Provided by The Spun View of a Michigan Wolverines football helmet before their game against the Utah Utes. Michigan is the No. 6 team in all of college football, ... Read more »

NFL Week 7 odds, picks, how to watch, streaming: Expert picks, teasers, survivor picks and more

© Provided by CBS Sports Sep 23, 2018; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (12) leads the team in the huddle against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial ... Read more »

Michigan-Michigan State showdown will represent a first in rivalry history

© Provided by Fansided The Michigan-Michigan State rivalry game has been played for over a century, but it has never involved both teams having this one thing in common. In ... Read more »

Rich Eisen has a football crush on Michigan freshman quarterback J.J. McCarthy

© Provided by Fansided Michigan fans should be excited about the potential that quarterback J.J. McCarthy has. With the way Michigan Wolverines quarterback J.J. McCarthy continues to make impressive highlights ... Read more »

Big 12 commish Bob Bowlsby sounds like a scorned lover over Texas, Oklahoma divorce

© Provided by Fansided Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby is bad-mouthing Texas and Oklahoma over their move to the SEC like an ex who isn’t over the breakup. The dust ... Read more »

Kansas letting people in for free for fourth quarter against Oklahoma

© Provided by Touchdown Wire The home-field advantage isn’t thriving at the University of Kansas. However, the Jayhawks’ athletic brass used their noggins to try and build the fan base ... Read more »

Kansas Makes Big Announcement For Fans With Team Up On Oklahoma

© Provided by The Spun Two Kansas football cheerleaders raising their arms. If you’re currently in the Lawrence, Kansas area, you’re going to want to head to Memorial Stadium as ... Read more »