The stunning decision of the Texans to trade one of the best receivers in the NFL for a running back who has a ball-and-chain contract and whose best work is fading into the rear-view mirror suggests that there’s more to the story.
Here’s one chapter: Hopkins wants a new deal.
Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the Cardinals and Hopkins will be working on a contract that will replace the final three years of his current deal, at $12.5 million, $13.5 million, and $13.915 million. None of the salaries are fully guaranteed.
Falcons receiver Julio Jones reset the market last year, at $22 million per year. Hopkins’ contract had a new-money average of $16.2 million when signed in 2017.
Hopkins is worth it. But the Texans have decided not to pay it. And the notion that O’Brien wanted to trade Hopkins has lingered, for a while. It was believed last year that O’Brien wanted to trade Hopkins but former G.M. Brian Gaine didn’t. Now that Gaine is gone and O’Brien is the G.M., it’s his call.