By Nick Shook
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In holding out for one whole day, Texans receiver DeAndre Hopkins hoped to kick start some talks on a new contract.
General Manager Rick Smith isn’t having it.
“There is not a negotiation happening at this point,” Smith said on Inside Training Camp Live. “He’s under contract for two more years.”
Hopkins chose not to report to camp on time with the rest of his teammates on July 30, but with each day missed came the possibility of a $40,000 fine. The threat of one fine was enough for the receiver, who posted 111 catches for 1,521 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2015 to end his holdout July 31.
Texans owner Bob McNair was quoted as saying Hopkins, who is set to make just $1 million in base salary in 2016, will be taken care of “at the proper time,” which is evidently not Aug. 2016.
“It’s not something that I sit here and think about,” Hopkins said on Inside Training Camp Live on Saturday. “I play football for a living. That’s my focus right now, not really what’s going on off the field because what goes on on the field, it’ll handle itself and work itself out.”
Hopkins is staying true to his team-first mantra and even echoing earlier statements with the “I play football for a living” phrase. It’s clear that with Hopkins under contract through 2017, the Texans have the leverage in this situation and no reason to hand over a big payday until Hopkins shows he’s worth it with another stellar season in 2016.
The onus falls on Hopkins to develop a rapport with new quarterback Brock Osweiler, which is evidently coming along nicely. Hopkins’ track record leads us to believe he’ll do just fine with Osweiler under center, considering the assortment of passers from which he caught balls in 2015.