The Houston Texans receiver is unhappy with his current contract and did not report to training camp, NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Saturday. Hopkins can be fined $40,000 for each day missed. ESPN first reported the news.
Texans general manager Rick Smith issued the following statement: "We are disappointed DeAndre has elected not to report to training camp with the rest of his teammates. He has expressed his position regarding his contract status, and we have been clear with both he and his representatives of ours. Our focus is on the 2016 season and all of our collective efforts and attention with be centered on that endeavor."
The Texans brass has declined to negotiate a new deal. Hopkins has two years left on his rookie contract and is set to make just $1 million in base salary in 2016.
The 6-foot-1 wideout is a highlight machine. He's the NFL's premier boundary receiver, stretches the field, can post up smaller corners and outmuscle bigger defenders. There is little Hopkins can't do from the receiver position.
He also carried the Texans offense last season, earning 31.6 percent of the teams passing targets. Playing with a cadre of crappy quarterbacks last season, Hopkins put up 111 receptions, 1,521 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns.
Teams generally don't re-do deals with multiple years left -- most don't want to set a precedent and contractually have no reason to negotiate. One option could be pushing some of next year's money into this season, without actually extending Hopkins' contract (a.k.a. The Marshawn Lynch Solution).
Hopkins' only leverage is to withhold his services, but holdouts generally don't end well for players once game checks are about to be missed.
Hopkins is certainly worth the $15 million per season other receivers of his caliber are making. Unfortunately for the former first-round pick, he's still under contract for multiple years -- plus the threat of the franchise tag in 2018 -- so he might have to wait a while to see those big dollars.