J.J. Watt on DeAndre Hopkins trade to Cardinals: It's always tough to lose a guy like that
- DeAndre Hopkins was traded from the Houston Texans to the Arizona Cardinals in March, a deal J.J. Watt admitted was tough to take.
J.J. Watt conceded it was tough to lose DeAndre Hopkins as a Houston Texans team-mate but admitted the decision to trade him to the Arizona Cardinals was "above his pay grade".
All-Pro wide receiver Hopkins was stunningly dealt to the Cardinals in March for a second-round draft pick and running back David Johnson.
The deal, made by head coach Bill O'Brien, who acts as the Texans de facto general manager, drew widespread criticism.
Watt, along with quarterback Deshaun Watson, is one of the faces of the franchise. The three-time Defensive Player of the Year was unwilling to criticise the Texans' decision to part with another of the team's superstars.
In an interview with Sports Illustrated, Watt said: "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.
"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 organisation 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."