It’s hard for anyone to wrap their heads around the Texans’ decision to trade DeAndre Hopkins, and it appears that one of the team’s star players can’t, either.
JJ Watt has spent the entirety of his NFL career in Houston, and he’s been the leader on the team’s defense since the team took him in the first round of the 2011 draft. It was really one of the only picks the team has hit on over the past decade, aside from Deshaun Watson, and Hopkins (who’s now gone).
The Texans offense was built entirely around Hopkins, and now he’s gone, leaving us to question how they’ll consistently move the football. On “gotta-have-it plays” and clutch moments in games, at times, Watson played pitch-and-catch with Hopkins, and it often worked. But now the Texans QB will be forced to play without the benefit of having his go-to receiver on the field.
Even Watt doesn’t really seem to understand it, in comments he made during an interview with Sports Illustrated.
“Anytime you have a guy like Hop, who in my opinion, has the best hands in the game and is obviously one of the top receivers of the game, it certainly catches your eye, that’s for sure,” he said. “It’s always tough to lose a guy like that, no matter what the situation is.
“It’s above my pay grade and it’s something that obviously the team and the organization feels is in the best interest of the team. So as a player on the team, I do my job and I go to work and I play the games, and the GM and the owners, they do their job and they try and do what they feel is best for the team. And so, all I can do is show up and go to work and hope that all the guys that we have are great contributors to our team.”
Watt is likely echoing the sentiments of the Texans locker room there as well, which makes for an interesting dynamic this season.