HOUSTON -- DeAndre Hopkins had been waiting for this day for a long time.
This past Thursday, the Houston Texans http://www.ochomesnloans.com/andy-lee-jersey-c-1_17.html
wide receiver signed a five-year, $81 million extension with $49 million guaranteed, the largest amount of guaranteed money ever given to a wide receiver in the NFL.
With just a few exceptions, the Texans have extended their first-round picks before or during the fourth year of their rookie deals. After Hopkins had a breakout season in 2015, he left training camp and held out for one day, telling ESPN that he wanted “to be treated for what I'm worth.”
After the numbers Hopkins put up in his first four seasons in Houston -- 317 catches for 4,487 yards and 23 touchdowns -- he was expecting a big contract. And last week, he finally got that payday on the eve of his fifth NFL season.
“When you go out there and put up numbers like those, like I did the past four years, anything less than being top or being paid as a top receiver would be downgrading,” Hopkins said.
“But I knew this organization would come through. I didn’t want to play anywhere else but Houston, honestly. They took a chance and drafted me [with the] 27th pick overall, so I was appreciative of that.”
Hopkins had a dip in production in 2016 -- his worst season, with 78 catches for 954 yards and four touchdowns -- with quarterback Brock Osweiler throwing to him. But the Texans saw past what they think is an anomaly and rewarded Hopkins for his big numbers, especially because he’s done it with the quarterback carousel that has taken place in Houston.
Since 2013, Hopkins has caught a touchdown http://www.yadeos.com/fozzy-whittaker-jersey-c-1_16.html
pass from eight different quarterbacks. According to Elias, only one other player in NFL history has done that. The Texans expect a big season out of Hopkins, and he and the team hope that Tom Savage can give him some stability at quarterback in 2017.
Hopkins said he was confident the contract would get done before the season started, because he knew the team believed in him and would take care of him.
“I was confident in this organization and this team for believing in me,” Hopkins said. “I know what I did. I know the work I’ve put in over the past four years for them to do that.”