Does free agent wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins make sense for the Texans

Houston Texans
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Houston Texans
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Hopkins cap figure

The Arizona Cardinals were willing to eat $21M in dead cap space to eliminate Hopkins. That should be a red flag to many franchises. At least, it is to me. While Hopkins has some of the most elite hands in the NFL, he's had a hard time seeing the field since being traded to Arizona, and the franchise was no longer comfortable with retaining his talent at that pay level.

It is worth asking the question, what would Hopkins want? Odell Beckham Jr just signed a one-year $18 million deal, with $15M guaranteed, with the Baltimore Ravens this past month, and he's dealt with many more question marks regarding his health and overall resume. But could Hopkins be had for a salary half the value of his current one? Possibly.

By nature of his situation, Hopkins may find himself seeking a similar deal in average annual value. When the Cardinals terminated Hopkins' contract, instead of trading him, it signaled to the league that he would have to take a pay cut. The Cardinals gained nothing in releasing him, where a trade would've net them some value in return. Teams are interested in the five-time Pro Bowler, but they were unwilling to pay his $34M salary for this upcoming season.

A contract similar to what the Houston Texans paid Brandin Cooks last off-season fits the best. Cooks signed a two-year, $39M deal with the team. Hopkins may be seeking a very similar deal. It maintains a top-15 AAV for wideouts this season, is low risk for teams due to its length, and allows Hopkins to prove himself in an attempt for a longer contract later on.

If that's the case, the contract fits just fine for the Texans, as it isn't a long-term deal they would get cash-strapped in the long term. Additionally, with most of the franchise's players already on an affordable contract or their rookie deal, they can afford to splurge a little bit. From a contract standpoint, it makes sense for the team as long as it's a short-term deal.