Hall of Fame wide receiver Michael Irvin provided some insight Wednesday on ESPN's Get Up regarding what may have led to DeAndre Hopkins' shocking trade from the Houston Texans to the Arizona Cardinals on Monday.
Irvin provided an account of a meeting between Hopkins and Texans head coach Bill O'Brien as told to him by the four-time Pro Bowl wideout:
"I said, 'Tell me what happened in Houston,' and he went into it. He told me, he said, 'Michael, it was a bit of a power struggle there' because Bill O'Brien thought, Coach O'Brien thought [Hopkins] had too much influence over the locker room. He called DeAndre Hopkins in a meeting to talk about this and, I kinda guess, hash it out. In that meeting, he started the meeting with telling DeAndre Hopkins this, that blew my mind when DeAndre told me this. He told DeAndre Hopkins, he said: 'Hey, the last time I had to have a meeting like this, it was with Aaron Hernandez.' I was like: 'What? He put in Aaron Hernandez in this meeting?' He said, 'Yes he did.' He said: 'Michael, that blew my mind that he would even bring that up. I've never been in any trouble. I don't know why would he equate me with Aaron Hernandez.'
"And from there, the meeting just deteriorated, you know. He got into talking about DeAndre Hopkins. DeAndre Hopkins has a few kids from different women, and he said, he told DeAndre he doesn't like that he has his 'baby mamas' around sometimes. And from that, I think the relationship just went bad, and thus, we got a trade of DeAndre Hopkins from Houston for basically, like I said earlier, a ham sandwich, all because of that relationship."
Hopkins later said the situation was "being blown way out of proportion."
The trade, which will become official when the new league year starts Wednesday, reportedly saw Houston send Hopkins and a 2020 fourth-round pick to Arizona for running back David Johnson, a 2020 second-round pick and a 2021 fourth-round pick.
Hernandez was a tight end for the New England Patriots from 2010 to 2012. O'Brien was an offensive coach with New England from 2007 to 2011, serving as the quarterbacks coach in 2010 and the offensive coordinator in 2011.
Hernandez was arrested for the murder of Odin Lloyd in 2013 and convicted in 2015. He died by suicide in his prison cell in 2017.
Unlike Hernandez, Hopkins has no criminal history and was, by all accounts, a model citizen during his seven seasons as a member of the Texans.
Hopkins missed only two games in Houston, made four Pro Bowls and was named a first-team All-Pro three times. He reached the 1,000-yard mark five times and 100-catch mark three times.
The 27-year-old was Houston's leading receiver and quarterback Deshaun Watson's favorite target last season, finishing with 104 receptions for 1,165 yards and seven touchdowns. He made the All-Pro First Team and the Pro Bowl for the third straight season.
Meanwhile, Hopkins will team with Larry Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk in Arizona, giving reigning Offensive Rookie of the Year Kyler Murray no shortage of weapons.
While O'Brien is 52-44 with four playoff appearances in his six seasons as Texans head coach, he has seemingly been on the hot seat for much of his tenure because of the team's inability to advance past the divisional round of the playoffs.
If O'Brien doesn't improve upon that and Hopkins thrives in Arizona, then his seat could be hotter than ever, especially given the controversial nature of his alleged meeting with Hopkins.