HOUSTON – Wednesday morning brought another wrinkle to the explosive DeAndre Hopkins trade, with former Dallas Cowboys star wide receiver Michael Irvin going on ESPN and detailing a conversation with Hopkins that accused Texans Coach/GM Bill O’Brien of bringing up Aaron Hernandez and “baby mamas” in a meeting with Hopkins.
Further reporting from ESPN shows that some of the power struggle came from Hopkins’ desire for a new contract.
After the Texans agreed to trade DeAndre Hopkins, sources told me Hopkins' reps told the Texans weeks prior he wanted a new deal paying him somewhere between $18- $20mil per year. The team was told Hopkins wouldn't show, if he didn't get the deal. Houston moved forward with trade— Dianna (@diannaESPN) March 18, 2020
Hopkins was making an Average Annual Value of $16.2 million per year, with a cap hit of $12.5 million in 2020. Per this report, Hopkins wanted a raise of a few million over his current AAV.
According to a report from Denver-based radio host Benjamin Allbright, Irvin’s recounting of the Hopkins-O’Brien meeting has affected the Texans’ ability to sign free agents.
Potential DB target for Texans told me he told team no thanks, moving on to other offers after being warned away by former Texans defensive players, about the HC.— Benjamin Allbright (@AllbrightNFL) March 18, 2020
Just hours after Irvin’s story on ESPN, Hopkins hopped on Twitter to tamp down the situation, expressing his respect for O’Brien.
This is being blown way out of proportion. As I’ve said before, I enjoyed and am proud of my time with the Texans. I have the utmost respect for Coach O’Brien and that will not change. Now, I’m ready to play for the Cardinals.— Deandre Hopkins (@DeAndreHopkins) March 18, 2020