HOUSTON (SPORTSRADIO 610) — DeAndre Hopkins became the highest paid wide receiver in NFL history last week, when he signed a six year, $88.9 million contract with the Houston Texans.
He wasn’t about to settle for much less, either.
“You go out there and put up numbers like those, like I did, the past four years, anything less than being paid as a top receiver would be downgrading,” Hopkins said.
Hopkins, 25, has put up big numbers since his breakout season in 2014: 265 catches, 3,685 yards and 21 touchdowns, all of which rank among the top 11 in the NFL over the span. His drop percentage (2.3) also ranks better than Odell Beckahm Jr. (2.8), Julio Jones (2.8), Dez Bryant (3.6), Demaryius Thomas (5.1).
He’s done it despite a rotating door at quarterback (Hopkins has played with more passers in his first four years than anyone in league history), unparalleled durability (Hopkins has yet to miss a game to injury) and without many of the distractions that tend to define players at his position.
But whatever he’s done to command that type of contract, which includes $49 million in guarantees, Hopkins now needs to live up to it.
How is his injured thumb doing?
“1,000 percent,” Hopkins said of the injury, which kept him out since the preseason opener.
Should fans be alarmed about how much time he missed?
“It’s just a thumb injury,” Hopkins said. “I catch with my thumb every day, so no need for me to go out there and (risk) it going to a nagging injury.”
Hopkins said he takes pride in being so durable.
“Lotta pride,” Hopkins said. “Probably from rec league. I remember one time I got knocked out right beside my mom on the sideline. I didn’t want to go back in the game, but she got up and kinda threw me in the game. So I’ve kinda instilled that toughness since rec.”
Was he ever worried about whether a deal would get done?
“I knew this organization would come through, and I didn’t want to play anywhere else but Houston, honestly. They took a chance, and drafted me with the 27th pick overall, so I was appreciative of that.”