With many questions surrounding the play of DeAndre Hopkins in 2016, the Houston Texans are taking a strong stance on their star wide receiver. Hopkins' play raised questions on whether it was a situation in working with new quarterback, Brock Osweiler, or was it that teams played him more physically, knocking him off his routes and throwing off his timing.
Questions started to rise about whether Hopkins lost a step or if there could be issues surrounding his contract situation for which he held out for one day prior to the start of training camp. Hopkins has made it clear that he wanted to get paid his worth heading into the 4th year of his deal, but the Texans held their ground and he played out 2016 without a new deal. With issues mounting, the Texans have not wavered from their stance on Hopkins: they want him to remain in a Texans uniform.
The Texans rebuffed the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, according to reports, during training camp trying as they tried to land Hopkins in a trade. Prior to the 2016 trade deadline, the franchise wanted no part of the New England Patriots trying to send Jamie Collins to try and acquire Hopkins. Additionally, head coach Bill O’Brien discussed Hopkins and his production from 2016 just yesterday. “As far as production and things like that, yeah the production dropped off a little bit but it wasn’t anything that he did. I think he’s a great player. I love coaching the guy and I’m looking forward to coaching him next year,” O’Brien said in defense of his star wide out.
Texans general manager and executive vice president of operations, Rick Smith, talked about the Hopkins situation and made it clear that he wants to keep Hopkins as part of the core of the team.
"I think both of those guys are good football players," Smith said of Hopkins and cornerback A.J. Bouye during Super Bowl week.. "Obviously, they're two different situations and scenarios. I think if you look at our football team you see we spend a lot of time and effort in the draft. When we've got good, young football players, we do our best to extend those guys and keep them a part of our core football team."
Hopkins has one year remaining on his rookie deal and is now in the territory of possibly landing an extension to keep him in Houston. One thing is for sure, with the Texans hanging up the phone when Hopkins' name is mentioned in a trade scenario or O’Brien assertively backing his wide receiver, it all points to Hopkins being in the long-term plans for the Texans after the 2017 season.
“Our goal is to keep our good young players and DeAndre Hopkins is a good young player.” explained Smith.
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