ARIZONA CARDINALS

Report: DeAndre Hopkins wanted Texans to pay $18-20 million per year

Mar 18, 2020, 9:27 AM
(Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)...
(Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)

The trade of DeAndre Hopkins to the Arizona Cardinals took everyone by surprise, but a report said the wide receiver wasn’t satisfied with his compensation in Houston.

ESPN’s Dianna Russini tweeted Wednesday that Hopkins’ representatives told the Texans weeks ago that he wanted a new contract in the range of $18 to $20 million per season, and that he would  hold out if he didn’t get the deal. Of course, Houston dealt Hopkins to Arizona with a 2020 fourth-round pick for David Johnson and two picks.

Ed Werder, also of ESPN, reported that the team recognized the coming need for new deals for quarterback Deshaun Watson and offensive lineman Laremy Tunsil and also saw the Cardinals’ offer as the “best by far.”

Hopkins’ cap hit and base salary in 2020 are both $12.5 million, but he’s on a contract averaging $16.2 million per season over the course of five seasons. Of the contract’s $81 million value, $42 million is guaranteed, per Spotrac. The remaining money on his deal is not guaranteed.

At his $12.5 million salary this year, Hopkins will be the 12th-highest paid receiver in the NFL (Atlanta’s Julio Jones tops the list at $22.2 million). The reported contract sought of $18 to $20 million would’ve put Hopkins at no lower than third on the list of the league’s biggest salaries for pass-catchers.

Of course, the other side of this story is the story told on ESPN Wednesday morning by former NFL wideout Michael Irvin, who said Hopkins told him that Houston coach and GM Bill O’Brien met with Hopkins and compared him to former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez. O’Brien also allegedly complained about Hopkins having the mothers of his children around the team facility.

That, according to Irvin, is how the relationship between Hopkins and his coach went south. Hopkins responded quickly with a tweet saying he has “the utmost respect for Coach O’Brien and that will not change.”

Even if it’s true that Hopkins wanted a new deal, which is corroborated by The Houston Chronicle’s Aaron Wilson reporting the same on Monday, the 27-year-old has routinely been among the most productive receivers in the league. He was fifth in the NFL in targets last year, fourth in catches and third in receiving first downs. He was 11th in receiving yards.

Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio reported Monday that Hopkins and the Cardinals would be working out a new contract to replace the three years remaining on his current deal.

Arizona Cardinals

Arizona Cardinals' Keaontay Ingram (30) runs drills at the NFL football team's rookie minicamp, Fri...
Wills Rice

Cardinals RB Keaontay Ingram excited to prove himself on the field

Cardinals RB Keaontay Ingram said he is ready to prove that the running back position is still the engine of the team.
2 days ago
Running back James Conner #6 of the Arizona Cardinals rushes the football against the Houston Texan...
Wills Rice

PFF’s Cole: Cardinals’ James Conner is a fantasy football post-draft winner

The Cardinals added to their offensive arsenal in the 2022 NFL Draft, but PFF thinks RB James Conner came out as the fantasy football winner.
2 days ago
San Diego State Aztecs defensive linemen Cameron Thomas (99) celebrates a sack during a college foo...
Wills Rice

Cardinals rookie Cameron Thomas models his game after J.J. Watt

Arizona Cardinals defensive end Cameron Thomas is excited to work with his role model J.J. Watt during his rookie campaign.
2 days ago
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA - SEPTEMBER 11: Nick Grant #1 of the Virginia Cavaliers defends a pass intended...
Wills Rice

Report: Cardinals sign DB Nick Grant to deal after rookie mini-camp

The Cardinals have reportedly signed cornerback Nick Grant to a deal after rookie mini-camp, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.
2 days ago
Colorado State Rams tight end Trey McBride (85) celebrates his third quarter touchdown against Wyom...
Sam Graveline

Landing with Cardinals a ‘dream come true’ for rookie TE Trey McBride

For Cardinals rookie tight end Trey McBride, he couldn't be more jacked up to land in the Valley and learn from those in his position room.
2 days ago
Rondale Moore #4 of the Arizona Cardinals carries the ball past Von Miller #40 of the Los Angeles R...
Arizona Sports

NFL Network’s Frelund projects Arizona Cardinals to finish around .500

In 75,000 simulations by NFL Network's Cynthia Frelund, the Cardinals averaged 8.7 wins, a projected step backward from their 11-6 2021 mark.
3 days ago
Report: DeAndre Hopkins wanted Texans to pay $18-20 million per year