Bill O'Brien is a polarizing head coach in the NFL. Even though he's won four AFC South Division titles in his six-year tenure with the Houston Texans, his personnel decisions mar those aforementioned accomplishments. Team ownership shockingly gave him this promotion when they parted ways with their general manager, and it's turned out to be a massive mistake.
Given the DeAndre Hopkins news on Monday, here are the most horrific moves O'Brien's made since taking over the front office.
5. Surrendering Draft Capital on Duke Johnson
The Houston Texans never had luck when it came to running backs. Lamar Miller wasn't getting it done, so O'Brien had to make a move. He called the Cleveland Browns and got Duke Johnson in exchange for a 2020 third-round draft pick. Even after acquiring Johnson, he only started in two games due to O'Brien also trading for Carlos Hyde. So, long story short, O'Brien surrendered a mid-round draft pick for a backup running back. Unreal.
4. Claiming Vernon Hargreaves III Off Waivers
O'Brien looked to put the Texans over the edge in the AFC, especially with the New England Patriots crashing back down to Earth. After trading for Gareon Conley at the deadline, O'Brien dipped into the waiver wire to claim former Tampa Bay Buccaneers first-round pick Vernon Hargreaves III. Hargreaves never panned out for the Bucs, and a lack of effort in coverage resulted in him being waived. While it was a low-risk, high-reward situation, the Texans didn't receive a prize in Hargreaves. As it turns out, a change of scenery still resulted in defensive lapses. At season's end, the team released the first-round bust.
3. Jadeveon Clowney Trade
Last offseason, the Texans were placed in an unenviable situation when it came to placing the franchise tag on Jadeveon Clowney, who had no desire to re-sign with the team. Of course, considering his displeasure, O'Brien lost all leverage in trade talks, and only ended up with linebacker Jacob Martin, defensive end Barkevious Mingo, and a 2020 third-round pick. To the surprise of no one, neither player proved to be a difference maker on the Texans, and getting just a mid-round pick for Clowney is seriously laughable. This STILL isn't the worst trade O'Brien's ever made.
2. Laremy Tunsil-Kenny Stills Trade
The Texans had serious issues along the offensive line, and considering they wanted to protect franchise quarterback Deshaun Watson, they needed to acquire a top blindside blocker. O'Brien did that by acquiring left tackle Laremy Tunsil and wide receiver Kenny Stills from the Miami Dolphins in exchange for their 2020 and 2021 first-round picks. That was simply too much for O'Brien to surrender, especially since Tunsil is due for a new contract after this upcoming season AND they had Duane Brown, who they refused to sign to an extension (he's now the left tackle for the Seahawks). The Texans are now in draft capital hell for the next two years, and they have to ensure they lock in Tunsil for the long haul or else they're finished.
1. DeAndre Hopkins Trade
You know this had to top the list. There was no other choice. Yes, there were reports of DeAndre Hopkins wanting a new contract, so a trade was bound to happen, especially with Watson and Tunsil due for new deals. But O'Brien decided to galaxy brain the entire league by trading Hopkins and a fourth-round pick to the Arizona Cardinals in exchange for running back David Johnson, a 2020 second-rounder, and 2021 fourth-rounder. How do you get dimes on the dollar for Hopkins? O'Brien found a way. Let's not forget a year ago, New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman was blasted for trading away Odell Beckham Jr., but at least he got a first-round pick and an everyday starter out of it. The same can't be said for O'Brien, and now, his popularity is at an all-time low.