The Houston Texans delivered DeAndre Hopkins the most guaranteed money of any wide receiver in NFL history Thursday, signing him to a five-year extension worth $81 million with $49 million in guaranteed money, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Hopkins’ guaranteed money exceeded Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones ($35.5 million) for the most for a wide receiver in league history. Hopkins was due to become an unrestricted free agent following this season.
The 25-year-old Pro Bowl wideout sat out parts of training camp last season as he sought out an extension to override his rookie deal which paid him $1 million in base salary. But he said at the time he wanted to spend his entire career in Houston. The Texans drafted Hopkins with the 27th overall pick of the 2013 NFL Draft out of Clemson.
Hopkins has started every game since being drafted and was selected to the Pro Bowl in 2015 when he logged career highs in receptions (111), receiving yards (1,521) and receiving touchdowns (11). He still managed to catch 78 passes for 954 yards and four touchdowns last season despite a tumultuous situation at quarterback for Houston.
Tom Savage is set to begin the season as the Texans’ starting quarterback, with Deshaun Watson — the 12th overall pick in this year’s draft — waiting in the wings.
The Texans will open the season without Will Fuller, who suffered a broken collarbone earlier this month but has not been ruled out for the season. They’ll also be without Jaelen Strong as he was suspended for a game by the NFL for violating its substance-abuse policy.
Hopkins will likely start alongside Braxton Miller at wide receiver for the Texans’ Week 1 matchup on Sept. 10 against the Jacksonville Jaguars.