Texans wideout DeAndre “Nuke” Hopkins had 111 catches, over 1,500 yards and 11 touchdowns last season. A feat made more impressive considering he was catching passes from career clipboard jockeys Brian Hoyer and Ryan Mallett.
Hopkins is scheduled to make just under $2,000,000 in guaranteed money this season, which is about the going rate for an equipment manager in the NBA. Hopkins was a no-show at Texans training camp and will holdout for a new deal.
— KPRC 2 Houston (@KPRC2) July 30, 2016
Hopkins foreshadowed his holdout in an interview with Tania Ganguli of ESPN.com last Saturday.
“I’m not looking for a certain range, I just want to be treated for what I’m worth. That’s fair to say, right?”
Old timey sports guy says a contract is a contract. If a player signs it, he should honor it. In sports like the NBA and MLB where contracts are guaranteed that makes complete sense. In the NFL it’s not so cut and dry.
NFL contracts – especially rookie deals – are team friendly labyrinths of non-guaranteed money and team options, which let the teams pull the escape hatch and bail on a player the minute he isn’t producing or gets hurt. Hopkins is grossly underpaid for his production, but under his rookie deal, the Texans can exercise the fifth-year team option next season to keep him locked into the team friendly deal through 2017.
Hopkins is clearly a top-five wide receiver in the NFL. He thinks he should be paid accordingly. The Texans have a decision to make: Pay “Nuke”, or let the situation go nuclear. Let the Hunger Games begin.