DeAndre Hopkins has premier talent, as evidenced by a 2015 season in which he caught 111 passes for 1,521 yards and 11 touchdowns. Then 2016 brought Brock Osweiler under center for the Texans and he appeared to have no clue who Hopkins was, so the receiver finished the season with 78 catches for 954 yards and four touchdowns.
But the team understood the talent level of the fourth year player from Clemson, so instead of letting his rookie deal expire after this season, the team opened up the checkbook and gave Hopkins a new contract extension to the tune of five years, $81 million, with $49 million guaranteed, the highest guaranteed amount ever for a receiver.
Hopkins didn’t hold out this season, having faith that the Texans would reward him properly; a faith rewarded significantly.
“My teammates, those guys count on me to come out here and make this team better,” Hopkins said earlier in August according to ESPN. “Guys like Lamar Miller, like J.J. Watt, that want to win a championship. And I know, for them to be able to do that, I have to be able to come out here and help those guys do it. So you know, the other 52 players on the team, they depend on me. That’s why I’m here.”
The team gave Osweiler the boot after last season, which freed up $31 million in cap space, and they did not hesitate to use it on their talented receiver.