Houston Texas star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins returns to camp 24 hours after walking out over a contract dispute
Well, that was quick. After missing the first day of training camp angry about his contract, Houston Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins came back to camp on Sunday, almost 24 hours after demanding that he wanted to be paid among the top wide receivers in the NFL.
Hopkins put out a statement saying that he is excited and is ready to help the team “play in a Super Bowl.”
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John McClain of the Houston Chronicle reports that Hopkins has been removed from the reserve-did not report list and said it is unclear if the team will enforce the $40,000-a-day fine that general manager Rick Smith announced yesterday.
It’s not a bad thing that Hopkins wants to get Dez Bryant money, in which the Dallas Cowboys star got a five-year, $70 million deal. Other top receivers like Julio Jones of the Atlanta Falcons and Demaryius Thomas got similar deals. He deserves that kind of money after the kind of numbers he’s put up.
But the problem for Hopkins is that he is entering the fourth year of a five-year rookie contract which was extended to pay him over $7.9 million through 2017 (He’s in the fourth year of a deal that paid him $15.5 million). Also, there is no precedent for a player to renegotiate his rookie deal two years before it expires.
Smith told McClain on Saturday that the team’s stance on renegotiations with Hopkins will not change and he didn’t think the holdout would last long.
"“You’ve got to ask DeAndre, he’s not here,” Smith said. “We’re here. He’s under contract. So there isn’t anything that can get done other than him coming in. I will tell you this: His actions are counterintuitive to any of the productive energy that is necessary for anything. So, we’re here working and our football team had a good day today. That’s where our focus is.”"
The question will be if Hopkins can put his contract issues behind him for the rest of the season, or will this be a constant problem that keeps popping up throughout the season until Hopkins and the Texans can sit down to come up with a deal to keep Hopkins in the long-term.