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Irvin: Texans’ Bill O’Brien likened DeAndre Hopkins to Aaron Hernandez

DeAndre Hopkins #10 of the Houston Texans reacts against the New England Patriots during the first quarter in the game at NRG Stadium on December 01, 2019 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

Houston Texans coach Bill O’Brien compared DeAndre Hopkins to former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez, who in 2015 was found guilty of first-degree murder. O’Brien also complained about the mothers of Hopkins’ children being around the team facilities, Hopkins told Hall of Fame receiver Michael Irvin.

Those comments by O’Brien, according to Irvin, all came about in a meeting meant for the Texans coach to hash things out with Hopkins, who was Houston’s star receiver.

Hopkins tweeted on Wednesday that Irvin’s comments — or what Irvin took out of a conversation with the receiver — were blown out of proportion.

But from what Irvin took out of a conversation with Hopkins, that one meeting with O’Brien was the beginning of an unraveling relationship that ended with Houston trading Hopkins and a draft pick to the Arizona Cardinals for running back David Johnson and two more picks on Monday.

Irvin explained that he called Hopkins this week to learn why the Texans pulled the trigger on such a lopsided trade.

“I tried to pull it out of (Hopkins) like, what happened? What happened here, man?” Irvin said Wednesday on ESPN’s Get Up. “There’s no way they give away one of the best receivers in the NFL for a ham sandwich like they did. He kept the high road on me. He said, ‘Michael, I’m happy about where I’m going.’ He left it there.

Irvin persisted and called Hopkins again. It was at that point when Hopkins opened up with Irvin about what he perceived as the breaking point between himself and O’Brien.

“He told me, ‘Michael, it was a bit of a power struggle there because Bill O’Brien thought … (Hopkins) had too much influence over the locker room,” Irvin said. “He called DeAndre Hopkins in a meeting to talk about this and to kind of, I guess, hash it out.

“In that meeting, he started the meeting telling DeAndre Hopkins this — which blew my mind when DeAndre told me this — he told DeAndre Hopkins the last time I had to have a meeting like this was with Aaron Hernandez.”

O’Brien was quarterbacks coach and then offensive coordinator for the Patriots when Hernandez played for New England in 2010 and 2011.

Hernandez was released from the Patriots and charged with first degree murder in 2013. He was convicted, sent to prison and later indicted on an unrelated double murder but was acquitted of that charge in 2017. Days later, he was found dead in his prison cell.

Hopkins does not have a history of any legal troubles.

O’Brien’s alleged comparison to Hernandez was mind-blowing to Hopkins, according to Irvin.

That wasn’t the only comment that crossed the line for Hopkins.

“From there, the meeting just deteriorated,” Irvin continued. “He got into talking about DeAndre Hopkins — ’cause DeAndre Hopkins has a few kids and from different women — he told DeAndre that he didn’t like that he has his baby mamas around sometimes. From there, I think the relationship just went bad.”

As Irvin recalled what Hopkins told him, his Get Up counterparts couldn’t believe what he was saying.


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