A day after choosing not to report to training camp, the star wideout is ending his brief holdout Sunday. Hopkins announced his change of heart via a statement provided to NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport:
"I, too, am disappointed that the Texans' organization has elected not to enter into contract negotiations to secure my future as a Texan. I have expressed my sincere position regarding my contract status and I, too, with sound mind have expressed my stance to the Texans' organization. My focus also is on the 2016 season and help my team reach our ultimate goal. Having said that I am returning to the Houston Texans to play for a Super Bowl in Houston, Texas. I will be holding a 12 noon Monday press conference at Reliant Stadium. I am excited about returning to the team and grind this camp."
Hopkins didn't waste any time returning to training camp. About an hour after releasing his statement, he was back in uniform, Rapoport reported. The team also indicated to Hopkins they would work on a possible new contract for him if he ended his holdout, Rapoport added.
With two years left on his rookie contract, Hopkins is slated to make just $1 million in base salary this season. He's obviously unhappy with his situation, but he's hoping that a team-first approach will help him land a new pact soon.
"I play football for a living," Hopkins said in a press conference after practice Monday. "That's my job, that's what I love doing. I love coming out here and being with my teammates. I've just got to keep working. I know it will come. I'm not rushing it. I know it'll happen one day."
Texans general manager Rick Smith, though, made it crystal clear that Houston wouldn't cave into any demands from the Hopkins camp. Holding out was always a long-shot strategy, but the wideout will eventually be paid for what he is -- one of the premier pass-catchers in the NFL.
In just his third season, Hopkins in 2015 tallied a whopping 31.6 percent of the team's passing targets, ripping through secondaries for 1,521 yards and 11 touchdowns off 111 grabs. It's worth noting that he put up those titanic numbers playing with a cavalcade of subpar passers.
While Brock Osweiler still has plenty to prove under center, having Hopkins back on the field gives this J.J. Watt-less Texans team a much better chance to compete in the AFC South.
It's also another reminder that holdouts rarely work out for players.