When the Texans traded receiver DeAndre Hopkins to the Cardinals, he had three years left on his existing contract. The Texans traded him in large part because he wanted a new deal.
He finally has gotten one.
Some, including the person who broke the story, are calling it a two-year, $54.5 million extension with a whopping $27.25 million new-money average. Others, including someone who didn’t break the story, are calling it a five-year, $94 million contract, with an $18 million average at signing.
The last year reportedly is voidable, which could make it a one-year, $39.585 million extension. Or, as the case may be, a four-year, $79 million contract. It’s currently unclear what will be needed to cause the final year of the contract to void.
The deal also reportedly includes a no-trade clause and a commitment not to apply the franchise tag to Hopkins.
The difference in the two characterizations of the contracts underscores the inherent differences between the new-money analysis and the analysis of the value of a contract at the time it is signed. No player signs an extension; he signs a new contract that replaces the old one. That’s what Hopkins will do, transferring a three-year commitment into a five-year contract that potentially could become a four-year deal.
So it’s a two-year, $27.25 million extension which pushes the total value to $94 million over five years ($18 million per year) or $79 million over four years ($19.75 million per year).
Ultimately, Hopkins is a Cardinal because the Cardinals did what the Texans wouldn’t do: Rip up the three-year contract and replace it with a new five- or four-year deal.