South Notes: Texans, Jaguars, Saints

The Texans exercised the fifth-year option on receiver DeAndre Hopkins‘ contract last week and ensured he’ll be under their control through at least 2017. Not surprisingly, their focus now is to lock him up for the long haul, as Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle details. The 23-year-old Hopkins certainly seems open to an extension with Houston, having said in February that, “If I can play my whole career here, I would. I love this place.” No deal is imminent, a source told Wilson, but a new accord for Hopkins would surely make him one of the NFL’s highest-paid wideouts. After racking up 76 catches for 1,210 yards and six touchdowns in 2014, his second season, the 2013 first-rounder from Clemson improved his numbers across the board last year. Hopkins totaled 111 catches, 1,521 yards and 11 scores en route to his first Pro Bowl nod.

Here’s more on the AFC South and one NFC South club:

  • Texans general manager Rick Smith believes he could have ultimately traded Brian Hoyer for a draft pick, but he decided releasing the quarterback last week was the better option for both parties, writes Tania Ganguli of “There may have been some value there for us organizationally, but we felt like this was the right time,” Smith said.
  • Hays Carlyon of came away from the Jaguars’ draft luncheon Friday convinced that UCLA linebacker Myles Jack will be their pick if he’s on the board at No. 5 overall. Jaguars brass, led by GM David Caldwell and head coach Gus Bradley, loves Jack’s blend of coverage and rush skills, according to Carlyon. Jack is seventh months removed from a torn meniscus, but CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora reported earlier this week that it shouldn’t hurt his draft stock.
  • Former Saints receiver Robert Meachem, who’s looking to make a comeback after missing all of last season, worked out for the club Friday, reports Nick Underhill of the New Orleans Advocate. The Saints used Friday to test Meachem’s speed and conditioning and will have him back in three weeks for on-field work, tweets Leslie Spoon of WWL-TV. New Orleans took Meachem in the first round of the 2007 draft and he went on to catch 141 passes and 23 touchdowns with the team before signing with the Chargers in 2012. After an unproductive season in San Diego, Meachem rejoined the Saints and amassed just 23 receptions and two scores in 26 games from 2013-14.
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