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

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.

This article first appeared on Larry Brown Sports and was syndicated with permission.

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