While details emerge about the circumstances that led to DeAndre Hopkins being traded from Houston to Arizona, Diana Russini of ESPN reported on Wednesday morning that part of the fallout between Hopkins and the Texans organization was focused around Hopkins’ desire for a contract extension.
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
According to Over The Cap, three years are left on Hopkins’ contract for a total of nearly $40 million in base salary. It appears Hopkins wanted to add to that number as well as add seasons beyond 2022. Of course, the Cardinals, should they choose to heed Hopkins’ desires and extend him to play with Kyler Murray for the next several seasons, could use that extension as an opportunity to chop down his base salary in the short-term.
After a story from Michael Irvin on ESPN’s Wednesday edition of Get Up, which detailed an explosive conversation between Hopkins and Houston Texans head coach Bill O’Brien, Hopkins responded on Twitter in an attempt to tamp out the flames.
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
From a financial perspective, despite Hopkins’ apparent desire for an extension, the fact that running back David Johnson was included in the trade hurts the Texans’ case that they were worried about paying Hopkins. Of course, Johnson’s contract only lasts through the 2021 season and the Texans can move on with only $2.1 million in dead money after 2020, but the fact remains the value skewed toward the Cardinals, even if they give Hopkins another season or two at $18-20 million.