Following the conclusion of the 2017 NFL season, Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins is set to become a free agent. Hopkins is the second best wide receiver ever to play for Houston, Andre Johnson being the best. Hopkins is going to get paid, there is only one question.
Will it be from the Houston Texans?
Since Hopkins first stepped on the field in the NFL, he has been absolutely dominant. Hopkins is yet to miss a game in his career and catches the majority of passes thrown his way.
These numbers are impressive. Very few players in the NFL are able to put up numbers that can even scratch the surface of what Hopkins produces. The top wide receivers in the NFL average north of $14 million dollars per season. Hopkins is going to receive a contract in that range.
Hopkins is still a young receiver in the NFL, he is currently 25 years old entering the 2017 season. There have not been many wide receivers that have accomplished what Hopkins has that become free agents. This is due to the fact that when a team finds a great wide receiver, they never let him go.
Players such as Julio Jones, Dez Bryant, Demaryius Thomas, Antonio Brown T.Y. Hilton and A.J. Green all have signed long term contracts paying them north of $60 million through the life of their contract. Jones, Bryant and Thomas all have guarantees of more than $40 million with 62 percent of their contract guaranteed. Hopkins will be receiving a contract comparable to the above players.
Entering the 2018 season, without factoring into account free agent signings, re-signing other players and incoming draft picks. The Houston Texans have an estimated cap number of $41 million. However Hopkins is not the only impending free agent Houston might want to retain.
Other notable free agents are Johnathan Joseph, C.J. Fiedorowicz, Tom Savage and Xavier Su’a-Filo. Even with drafting Watson, there is the possibility that Savage still receives a contract offer from the Texans. Su’a-Filo is currently one of their starting guards and it is hard to imagine that he walks in free agency. Fiedorowicz is the teams leading tight end and he should be retained by the Texans. Joseph is possibly the odd man out in this group, he is aging and skills are in decline.
With ample cap room, will the Texans be “all in” on Hopkins or will they look to solidify positions of need such as the offensive line? it is not often that players the caliber of Hopkins hit the free agent market and for good reason, they are too good to let go. Teams that let a player as good as Hopkins leave regret it.
If the moment comes where Hopkins becomes an unrestricted free agent, every NFL team will essentially back up a dump truck filled with cash to his front door. It is highly unlikely that the Texans will let him walk. The Texans will do everything in their power to keep Hopkins in Houston. Whether it is with a big contract or with the unpopular franchise tag. The Texans have the room to sign him, the only thing to consider is if it will cost them improvements at other key positions as a result.