Houston Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins is quickly becoming one of the best young wideouts in the NFL. He already has 239 receptions for 3,533 yards and 19 touchdowns in just three seasons. Hopkins is under contract through 2016 and said Saturday he hopes to re-sign with Houston and retire with the Texans, per Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle:
Aaron Wilson @AaronWilson_NFL
DeAndre Hopkins @Nukdabomb 'If I can play my whole career here, I would. I love this place. This organization took a chance on drafting me'2016-2-14 00:18:54
He is set to make just $1 million in base salary in 2016, with another $1.4 million in signing and roster bonuses. That is a steal for someone coming off a season in which he hauled in 111 passes for 1,521 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Even with the success, Hopkins said he has plenty to work on as well, per Wilson.
"There's a lot that I need to improve on, YAC [yards after catch], which I finished last in," Hopkins said. "Being a better leader, not getting frustrated when things aren't going my way, just being a leader of this team."
Those may be fair criticisms, but Hopkins is only 23 years old and has yet to hit his prime. Ian Kenyon of Bleacher Report feels he is the best receiver under 25:
Ian Kenyon @IanKenyonNFL
Top-5 WR under 25: 1. DeAndre Hopkins 2. Odell Beckham 3. Allen Robinson 4. Amari Cooper 5. Martavis Bryant2016-2-12 22:13:08
Next season could go a long way in determining if Hopkins will be able to fulfill his wish to stay in Houston, considering the team's quarterback situation. The Texans had four different signal-callers in 2015, and Brian Hoyer's horrible performance in a 30-0 Wild Card Round loss to the Kansas City Chiefs was well-documented.
Despite the quarterback throwing for just 136 yards and four interceptions, Hopkins still had six receptions for 69 yards.
If Houston can draft an effective quarterback—or find a solid free agent—negotiations would likely be smooth between Hopkins and the team. If not, it would be hard to blame him if he bolts for a team with a stable quarterback situation.