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Dez Bryant and Demaryius Thomas Pave the Way for an Enormous DeAndre Hopkins Contract Extension

If you thought Dez Bryant and Demaryius Thomas got big deals for a wide receiver, just wait until you see what kind of cash DeAndre Hopkins is on pace to earn in just a few years. SPOILER ALERT: It's enough to buy a small island nation.

Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

Superstar wide receivers Dez Bryant and Demaryius Thomas both signed massive five-year, $70 million deals ($14 million per year) with their respective teams yesterday. While not quite Calvin Johnson money, Bryant and Thomas have once again reset the market for what elite wideouts not named Megatron should expect to make. Not only that, but with the contracts for A.J. Green, Alshon Jeffery, and Julio Jones also looming on the horizon, we could start to see receivers making $15 or even $16 million a year by the time free agency rolls around next March.

In an effort to forecast the absurd amount of money that the Texans may have to throw at DeAndre Hopkins one day, I decided to take a look at Nuk’s career arc in his first two seasons and compare it to several other recently or soon-to-be-signed elite receivers.

Catches in first two seasons

1. A.J. Green: 162

2. Julio Jones: 133

3. DeAndre Hopkins: 128

4. Alshon Jeffery: 113

5. Dez Bryant: 108

6. Randall Cobb: 105

7. Demaryius Thomas: 54

Yards in first two seasons

1. A.J. Green: 2,407

2. Julio Jones: 2,157

3. DeAndre Hopkins: 2,012

4. Alshon Jeffery: 1,788

5. Dez Bryant: 1,489

6. Randall Cobb: 1,349

7. Demaryius Thomas: 834

Yards per catch in first two seasons

1. Julio Jones: 16.2

2. Alshon Jeffery: 15.8

3. DeAndre Hopkins: 15.7

4. Demaryius Thomas: 15.4

5. A.J. Green: 14.9

6. Dez Bryant: 13.8

7. Randall Cobb: 12.8

Touchdowns in first two seasons

1. A.J. Green: 18

2. Julio Jones: 18

3. Dez Bryant: 15

4. Alshon Jeffery: 10

5. Randall Cobb: 9

6. DeAndre Hopkins: 8

7. Demaryius Thomas: 6

Games missed in first two seasons

1. DeAndre Hopkins: 0

2. A.J. Green: 1

3. Randall Cobb: 2

4. Julio Jones: 3

5. Dez Bryant: 4

6. Alshon Jeffery: 6

7. Demaryius Thomas: 11

What immediately stands out to me is just how productive Hopkins has been in nearly every statistical category relative to his peers. Nuk finished in the top three in receptions, yards, and yards per catch, while also being the most durable of the group, not missing a single start in his young career. When you factor in the atrocious quarterback play that Hopkins has had to endure in his first two seasons, one could argue that his "third place statistics" are the most captivating numbers out of any of these young wideouts. Hell, Hopkins even put up great production while doing something that most Texans fans thought to be impossible – outshine the great Andre Johnson. This kid went from Robin to full-on Batman in less than a year with Ryan Fitzpatrick, of all people, under center.  Consider me impressed.

Hopkins still may not have a stud quarterback throwing him the ball, but if the Texans can get even a marginal improvement out of that position group with either Ryan Mallett or Brian Hoyer under center, "'Dre Part Deux" could be in for an absolute explosion over the next few years. An annual stat line of 90 catches, 1,400 yards, and double-digit touchdowns is not out of the question from here on out, and that kind of production is starting to prove to be very, very expensive.  In fact, I am willing to bet that the Texans make extending Hopkins to a long-term deal  one of their biggest priorities after the 2015 season before Julio Jones and A.J. Green drive the receiver market to even more astronomical highs. Rick Smith pulled a similar move with J.J. Watt after his third season in the league by signing him to a record-breaking extension before Ndamukong Suh, Justin Houston, Von Miller, and a host of other pass rushers inked their own deals; now that $100 million dollar contract looks like a bonafide steal.  Do not rule out the team using that page from their playbook yet again.

The countdown to DeAndre Hopkins becoming an obscenely rich man starts today. May God have mercy on Mr. McNair’s wallet.