As a 2013 draftee, Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins is eligible for a contract extension for the first time this winter. Houston may not rush into negotiations, since the team still holds a fifth-year option on Hopkins for 2017, but if it were up to him, the wideout would welcome a long-term offer to remain with the Texans. In fact, Hopkins wouldn’t mind spending his entire career in Houston, as Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle writes.
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“If I can play my whole career here, I would,” Hopkins said. “I love this place. This organization took a chance on drafting me. You have to look at that…. I love this organization. I love the fans here. I’ll never forget after we went 2-14 (2013), I don’t recall too many fans bailing out on us. It speaks a lot about this city and who they are.”
Despite catching passes from a rotating cast of quarterbacks since making his NFL debut in 2013, Hopkins has managed to take major steps forward each season, and is now one of the most productive pass-catchers in the league. After grabbing 76 balls for 1,210 yards and six touchdowns in 2014, the Clemson product improved his numbers across the board en route to his first Pro Bowl nod in 2015, recording 111 receptions, 1,521 receiving yards, and 11 TDs.
There has been no indication yet that the Texans have engaged in contract extension negotiations with Hopkins, but there’s still plenty of time to do so. Houston’s previous deal with J.J. Watt also shows that the club is willing to get something done with its top players well before their fifth-year options take effect. Watt and the Texans reached an agreement in early September during the fourth year of Watt’s rookie contract, so if the team follows the same script this time around, that could mean getting serious about a Hopkins extension in the summer.
While Hopkins may want to remain in Houston for his entire NFL career, that doesn’t mean he’ll necessarily want to take a hometown discount. As Wilson outlines, the 23-year-old recently switched agents, hiring Creative Artists Agency to represent him. Star receivers like Julio Jones, Dez Bryant, and Demaryius Thomas all had their recent mega-deals – which are each worth around $14MM per year – negotiated by CAA reps.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.