The crop of top-tier wide receivers in the NFL might be the best the league has ever enjoyed. Players such as Antonio Brown, Dez Bryant, and Julio Jones are always mentioned amongst the best, but a new name emerged this season DeAndre Hopkins of the Houston Texans.
Hopkins enjoyed a career year with 111 receptions for 1,521 yards, both good for third in the NFL behind Brown and Jones. Hopkins also added a career high 11 touchdowns, which was also top-10 in the league.
With only three seasons under his belt, Hopkins is still under his rookie contract for two more seasons. There will surely be extension talks, however, and Hopkins told Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle that he hopes to spend his entire career with the Texans:
“If I can play my whole career here, I would,” Hopkins said. “I love this place. This organization took a chance on drafting me. You have to look at that.”
Hopkins expounded on his love for both the Texans organization as well as the fans:
“I love this place,” said Hopkins, who’s due a $1 million base salary next season with a $445,004 roster bonus scheduled for the fifth day of training camp. “I love this organization. I love the fans here. I’ll never forget after we went 2-14 (2013), I don’t recall too many fans bailing out on us. It speaks a lot about this city and who they are.”
The Texans clearly have a keeper in Hopkins who was carved out his spot amongst the elite receivers in the game in only his third season. Now the Texans must simply focus on getting a quarterback who can consistently get Hopkins the ball.
Loyalty in sports is always a questionable commodity as there have been numerous players who were legends for their respective teams, only to get released once they got older and their play deteriorated. That, however, just makes it even better when a player can spend his entire career with one franchise, and Hopkins could be that kind of person.