DeAndre Hopkins has certainly earned a contract extension with the Texans, exploding in 2015 for 1,521 yards, 11 touchdowns and a Pro Bowl selection amid a whirlwind of quarterback issues. Now, the fifth-year receiver is set to cash in with a huge contract extension (hopefully this offseason). Aaron Wilson has the latest in his story for the Chronicle here.
"Those talks are between the Texans and my agent,” Hopkins said, “but this city has embraced me just like my hometown in South Carolina has.”
Hopkins saw his numbers slip in 2016 as Brock Osweiler’s struggles weighed heavily on the offense. But he is still the most productive receiver through his first four years in Texans’ history, with 4,487 yards and 23 touchdowns on 317 catches for his career.
“Stats never really mattered to me,” Hopkins said. “What mattered to me is helping my team win, making big plays down the stretch to get us over the hump for us to be able to win the AFC South conference as many years as we have in a row.”
There is speculation that the cap space Houston saved by sending Osweiler (and a 2018 second round pick) to Cleveland is meant to extend Hopkins and fellow first-rounder Jadeveon Clowney. So how hefty of a payday is the Texans wideout looking at?
Of the wide receivers drafted in 2013 (the same year as Hopkins), only a few have signed major extensions already. Tavon Austin signed a four-year, $42 million contract in 2016, and Keenan Allen signed a four-year, $45 million deal in the same year.
When Hopkins finally cashes in, he should join the highest paid players at his position. The top receiver contracts currently belong to Antonio Brown (who signed a four-year, $68 million extension this spring), A.J. Green (who signed a four-year, $60 million contract in 2015), Julio Jones (who signed a five-year, $71 million deal in 2015), Dez Bryant (who signed a five-year, $70 million contract in 2015) and Demaryius Thomas (who signed a five-year, $70 million extension in 2015).
We still don’t know exactly what Hopkins’ contract will look like or when it will arrive, but Houston’s star wide receiver is entering the fifth-year option of his rookie contract and is scheduled to make $7.915 million this year.
One thing Hopkins has made clear is that he would like to stay in Houston.
“I love being here. I love playing for this team,” Hopkins said. “Bob McNair and Cal McNair, they do a great job at having an organization that speaks for itself. I thank those guys all the time for picking me 27th when nobody knew who DeAndre Hopkins was."
With an emphasis on the team instead of the individual, the Texans are back to work at OTAs.
“Everybody knows the team we have and everybody knows the goals we want to get to,” Hopkins said. “You can tell the way everybody is practicing with a chip on their shoulder.”
What are your thoughts, Texans fans? Where do you think Hopkins will fall among the top receivers’ contracts? Do you think his contract extension will get done before the season starts? Discuss any and all predictions in the comments section below.