The Texans have made a roster move that likely didn’t require much deliberation, exercising their fifth-year option for wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, according to John McClain of the Houston Chronicle (via Twitter). McClain reports that Hopkins will earn a $7.915MM salary on his 2017 option.
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.
Although Hopkins is now under team control for two more seasons, and the Texans would have the option of using the franchise tag after that, a long-term extension is still possible at any time. The Texans showed with J.J. Watt that they were willing to extend one of their stars well before he played out his fifth-year option, and Hopkins is the club’s top player on the other side of the ball. He has also expressed interest in remaining in Houston for the rest of his career.
“If I can play my whole career here, I would,” Hopkins said in February. “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.”
Hopkins is the latest 2013 first-rounder to have his option for 2017 exercised — Kenny Vaccaro of the Saints, Tyler Eifert of the Bengals, and Kyle Long of the Bears had their fifth-year options picked up this week as well.
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